Creative Commons license icon

Stalking Cat confirmed dead at 54

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

Stalking Cat (Dennis Avner)Dennis Avner, better known under his Native American name Stalking Cat, died November 5. He was 54.

OggyWolf and BlueCanary confirmed Stalking Cat's death with local officials. His body is being held in Tonopah morgue for his brother [tip: STrRedWolf]. No cause of death was stated, but some claim suicide.

A former U.S. Navy sonar technician, and programmer, Stalking Cat was famous for having had extensive cosmetic surgery to adopt the likeness of his totem animal, the tiger, in accordance with Huron traditions. His body modifications included a split lip, labret-based whisker-holding implants, dental surgery, and silicone injections. He was also extensively tattooed.

Stalking Cat was a guest of honor at Rainfurrest 2007, and appeared at CritterConDiego 3 in 2002.

More coverage: BME ModBlog (inc. interview) - East County Magazine [tip: Higgs Raccoon]

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (27 votes)

"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." R.I.P.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

One of my favorite quotes of all time.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (18 votes)

He was a pioneer of a sort, and pioneering is often risky on more levels than is at first obvious. I long admired his courage, and my heart goes out to all who loved him.

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (20 votes)

That's a real shame. I never met Stalking Cat, nor conversed with him in any way, but I always got a smile out of his periodic appearances in print and visual media. I had to admire someone willing to be as different and unique as he was. With Stalking Cat gone, the world's just a little bit less interesting.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (12 votes)

I met Stalking Cat a few times, at Megaplex (between 2005 and 2007, I think) and briefly at Further Confusion a couple years after that. He didn't mind me approaching him out of nowhere to strike up a conversation, even though all I had to say was that I had seen him on television. I remember him joking that he "managed to achieve fame, but no fortune."

Memorably, the first time I saw him at Megaplex I handed him my phone and said "Will you talk to my mom? She's a fan of yours" (having seen him on TV) and he happily obliged. It made her day.

I'm hoping the actual circumstances of his death come to light. It's not exactly easy sitting with the rumors that are going around. I'm also curious why the news was apparently shrugged off as a rumor for the past week(?) since his death. Why wouldn't that kind of news be taken seriously at first?

My thoughts are with Dennis' close friends and family.

Your rating: None Average: 1.6 (26 votes)

This is sad, and challenging to masturbte to.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (8 votes)

So sad :( RIP gone too soon! xo

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

I met him a few times at earlier MFF's. He was interesting to chat with and seemed like a nice guy. I think it sort of amused him that rather than getting stared at, most who saw him would just say "Hi Cat" as they passed by.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (8 votes)

I held great respect for Stalking Cat, though I never had the opportunity to meet him, as a pioneer of morphological freedom.

I hope that, if there is an afterlife, he is happy and in a form he feels the most Cat in.

rip

Furry Pariah

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (10 votes)

Is there any proof that this guy was really a Native American?

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (9 votes)

There is a video of him dancing in traditional regalia at a Native American event looked pretty real to me...

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (9 votes)

I really don't think he was. The photos of him pre-surgery and as a child (as shown on one of the documentaries) he looked lily-white. But if he disliked who and what he was enough to have all those surgeries, he probably didn't like being a boring white person either. It's also possible he had a native American grandparent or relative somewhere along the line. A lot of people do. But full-blooded, born on the reservation Native American, I don't think so.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (9 votes)

Why is his ancestry important? The fact that he inspired so many people to express themselves in unconventional ways is of great importance.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (9 votes)

In the USA, claiming Native American heritage is a big deal, in part because it can entitle you to certain benefits (official and otherwise) from a country which is still getting over the guilt of taking land from the people who lived here, and turning it into strip-malls.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Because, supposedly, his totem animal told him to become more like him. His totem animal being Tiger of course.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

If there is a reason to question it, it isn't for why he altered himself. You don't see any other Native Americans going to this extreme to appear more physically like their spirit animal. It may be his stated reason for doing so but it's obvious it was more than that, and those who knew him may know more on why he did so.

Honestly I don't think it really matters, if it did then it vanished the day he died.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (8 votes)

To reply, Being Native American was in his soul, his soul was a cat. It came from deep inside of him.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

There are a lot of people of colour who can pass as white. I looked Native as a child, but as an adult there are a lot of people who don't realize I'm Native. I'm concerned about your alleged "interest" in his heritage, because in the end who gives a fuck? This kind of question is irrelevant regardless of whether you see him as benefiting from it somehow or not...because as a Native American I can tell you that there are way more cons to identifying as Native than there are pro's. I know Native people who refuse to deal with the prejudice, racism and stereotypes of being identified as a Native person and actually refuse to get the benefits of it. And having dealt with it my entire life do I blame them? No.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

How sad... 54 is too young. Best wishes to the many friends he left behind.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (11 votes)

This hurts me.

When I lost Pouchhopper, Stalking cat was there. I found out while I was at Califur. Both him and Furp took care of me. I remember waking up after blacking out and crying into him. For both of us it was the most tragic event in our lives.

There are many great furries in the fandom, but there are those who stand out above and beyond for their dedication, passion and heart.

RIP Stalking Cat
RIP Furp
RIP Pouchhopper

3 people who have had such profound impacts on my life.

Loss of life happens but I can't ... I cant express the level of grief I am feeling.

If there is an afterlife waiting for us, these 3 will be among the most adored.

I hope my tears of sadness and loss fill your hearts with joy, for you will be missed most of all by this humble little kangaroo. Your impact on my life was earth shattering, as has been the sudden loss of you from my life.

Rainhopper Roo
AKA
Toast The Rabbit

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

How sad. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friends. I never met Stalking Cat, but I always admired that he didn't let nay-sayers keep him from living a life that made him happy.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

I miss him a great deal. He gave me some pretty good advice that helped me stay sane through a very rough patch. He was, in many ways, like a big brother to me.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (8 votes)

One of the biggest names out there, I never met Stalker Cat but I'd always wanted to meet him, he was probably among the most famous and public of therians. I do hope he finds peace and I absolutely refuse to believe this was suicide.

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (27 votes)

People, he had surgeries to change himself into a fucking CAT! He was an outcast and a loon but cry if you must.

Meow. Meow.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

You know people always say nice things about those that die. Even if the guy is complete jerk they will never say that after they pass away.. Not an issue with Stalker Cat. He was a kind as kind can be. And would always take the time to talk to me even when I'm babbling. The community is damaged by the loss and I will miss him.

If there is a God I hope he finished the work on Stalker. that would indeed be heaven for him.

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (7 votes)

How wonderful it would be if his next life is the shape he was meant to be.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Met him some years back... seemed like an alright guy. Sorry to hear of his passing.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)

I really can't believe it..
And I won't until I see a legit obituary.

Cat, wherever you are, I love you man.

I'm not spiteful, I'm Katty!

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Rainfurrest 2007 was my fist convention and he was the first furry I met in person at the convention.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

My deepest condolences to those he knew and touched, I can say with great sadness I had only ever had the pleasure of seeing Stalking Cat through television. When I was a young child, I vividly remember seeing various shows featuring him and other extreme body mod-ers, and I remember my family being very disgusted-- but I was so intrigued, enthralled, and excited. He was a great inspiration, and had the courage to become on the outside what his soul was on the inside.

RIP Stalking Cat. Some day I will shake your hand. Until then, I hope you are what you were always meant to be in the next life.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (9 votes)

Before he was Stalking Cat, WE at ACE TATTOO where he first got his face TATTOOED by Larry Hanks his name was CatFish

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Oh Cat, I'm so sorry. This life was a true challenge and journey for you, so happiness in the afterlife...tell Lyle hello for me!

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

I met Stalking Cat at AnthroCon one year, and he was a very interesting fellow to speak with. It's a shame that he has passed on. Condolences to those who held him near and dear.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

How sad... I had hoped to meet someone who was so confident in himself to change his body in this way. I admired him, though I never did make it out to conventions.

My condolences to everyone who was close to him.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

If anyone knows how I can get in contact with his family and immediate friends in NV please let me know and have them contact me. He was kindred spirit and a close friend, I have an idea here to find a bit of closure in this tragedy. It is what I want to do for him.

There is a company down the street from me that does full sized concrete replicas of animals (lawn ornaments) They have a realistic full sized tiger one. I want to mix his ashes into the cement and have it made. Then have the piece placed inside the tiger enclosure at the conservancy center.
I am hoping to make this happen here. but I am having trouble getting a hold of his family and immediate friends in NV . If you know of anyone I can talk to please send them to my website at lionofthesun (dot) com

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Solion, his brother is taking care of this. Cat was Lakota & Huron Native American and it could be that he will be laid to rest in that tradition. I hope so. Glad you were a good friend to him, and care.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

If you could do me a favor. If you have any contact with his family could you please ask them to contact me. I would like to try and be there when they lay him to rest.

Lionel

Lionofthesun(dot)com

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I will contact you solion.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Solion, I left your a message on your website.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I met him at the Critter Con Diego in 2002, he started it all for me really. Understanding the extensive length a human will go through to become that for which he admires so greatly.

My heart goes out to him, may he ever live on in our memory.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

I met stalking a few times, had the privledge of having him both stay at my house and share a room at Futher Confusion....It saddens me to hear of hsi death, especially if he took hiw own life..

and what, wait, what happened to Furp....?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Oh...I remember now, the motocycle accident, damn.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I'm sad because I only got to talk with him a few times, at Rainfurrest, and cons before that. I looked forward to being able to meet up with him, maybe get some of his time. My mate is also saddened by this, because we lose any chance of spending more time with him.
I remember one time, we joked about the hotel, when the elevator stopped working, again that day.

if (Try()) Do();
else DoNot();

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (8 votes)

Oh, so sad, I remember how he wanted to get tiger fur grafted onto his own skin.

Jessica
hosiery blogger

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

No, he didn't.

Furry Pariah

Your rating: None Average: 1.6 (16 votes)

A mentally deranged person who spent more than 100.000 $ for surgery. He should have given that money to a benevolent fund...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (9 votes)

You should give the money you're using to pay for Internet access to a benevolent fund.

Furry Pariah

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (12 votes)

So many "friends" offering condolences. Has anyone of these "friends" ever thought that changing his own body to such a limit was just a symptom of deep loneliness, that could eventually bring to depression, or mental illness ?? Freedom is great, but when I see someone abusing of it (and of himself) so blatantly, I always think that there are some mental issues at work. In this case, facts confirm this. Poor guy.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

His friends knew his gentle soul. They knew his committment to his totem. They knew his love and reverence to his native american tribes. This is what Cat was all about, and how he should be remembered. His true friends, indeed, knew who he was.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (9 votes)

Dude, the person above is a realist and wants to say something important, don't dismiss what they're saying just because it's not pretty. Suicides are cries for help that end badly. If we don't take this as an opportunity to learn facts about suicide and mental health, what it's like to be suicidal, and educate ourselves, HIS DEATH WILL BE IN VAIN AND IT'LL CONTINUE TO END BADLY FOR OTHERS, because if we furs are such a significant part of the environment he lived in, then we are a contributing factor.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I want to reply again, just to say that Cat was always excited and happy to make the changes that transformed him into his totem. I want to tell the fur community that I don't believe that his transformation into his totem was a factor in his taking his life. There were other issues that Cat dealt with. I don't want the fur community to think that they were a contributing factor (see above). It is good that this gives an opportunity to speak about suicide, and perhaps people will identify ways to get help and to recognize when others are in distress.

However, Cat wasn't abusing his body (see above) in any way, his persona was a source of happiness and he was proud of his native american heritage. Much like others who wear the masks and such and transform themselves into their alter personas, he just chose to alter his physical body instead. His transformations were made over many, many years...and he was very proud of the work that he had done to become Stalking Cat.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

I'm really curious what drove him to suicide if it didn't have to do with his transformation. Was it people judging him that brought him down? Poverty? Health problems? Sorry if I'm prying in too deeply, I'm just trying to understand this disturbing news.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I understand rubi, but it won't come from me.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I'm going to be a dick, but does it matter now?

And what facts? Something that you saw?

Did you know him? Did you interact with him on a regular basis?

If the answer is "No" then you didn't know him.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I knew Cat well over 20 years. He was my brother in laws best friend until his death of cancer. He was friends with my family and their friends. We knew him before his artifical nails, teeth, contacts, etc. Hope that answers your question. R.I.P. Cat, I'm finished commenting on this thread.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I was referring to the anon talking garbage, Debbie.

IT's really easy to judge people when you don't know them. It's also really confusing to have multiple anons in the same discussion.

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (18 votes)

total asshole
good riddance

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Well this thread so far proves one thing, Cat, sure was a polerizing personality.

Look I met him several times, his transformation and involvment in furry was one of his few sources of personal pride, acomplishment and joy. Did he go to far? Thats his choice and only his place to answer.

I knwo he had finacial issues, and trouble finding a job, his apearence may have been a contributing factor.

The cat I knew never seemed down or the type who was unhappy enough to commit suicide, course eh was working then, makign steady money, his procedures weren't cheap.

If I had to guess...I'd say the reality of living as a human is what did him in, he had such an afinity for Tigers , I can see how admiring their life style and hating the toil and financial burdan of human society, where the tiger side would look more apealing and you could make that mental leap to take your life. Who knows, there may be other issues, whether medical, drug induced, some outside tragidy.

I don't know, I am curious, but it doesn't change my view of him, or the sadness his loss brings.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

The toil of human life?

Do you know how easy we have it compared to tigers?

They're endangered, their habitat is being destroyed, and they are being hunted for sport. More of them live in captivity, in cages, which I guess does have some parallels to the 9 to 5 job.

I can understand wanting to live as a romanticized version of a tiger , but this "human hating" thing has to stop. It's agonizing and painful. And it doesn't help tigers.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (8 votes)

After I'm gone, your earth will be left to live out the rest of it's miserable span of existence, as one of my satelites... and that's how it's going to be...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

The german newspaper "taz.de - die tageszeitung" wrote this, quoting flayrah.com:

http://www.taz.de/Dennis-Avner-ist-tot/!105425/

Pointing out that 54 years is extraordinarily old for a tiger.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Cat was a good friend of my brother in law when he lived in El Cajon Ca many years ago. We had dinner with him, he was soft spoken and very kind. He was also a Shalman which most people didnt know. Very intelligent, he was always found hanging around my brother in laws house as my brother in law was also into electronice. Too bad, and wonder why? God Bless you Cat!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Having but only met him a couple of times, I'm still very sad to see him go.

I'm honestly surprised he lasted as long as he did. It's not easy to be different, and he didn't seem to have the callous shell about him so common to body-mod enthusiasts. Even if you're one of the detractors here who thinks he was nuts, it certainly takes great courage to be so openly unconventional.

Godspeed.

Your rating: None

Rakeem i thought stalker kat was a live. He died of a heartatack.

Your rating: None

His the cat hero for for us all. Reminds me of the Beijing tattoo guy who daringly confronted Chinese culture with his mad whole body tattoo appearance. Even though in the end he was a pretty ordinary guy, loved the Beijing Olympics. R.I.P Stalking Cat!

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <img> <b> <i> <s> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <sub> <sup> <object> <embed> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <dl> <dt> <dd> <param> <center> <strong> <q> <cite> <code> <em>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This test is to prevent automated spam submissions.
Leave empty.

About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.

Page traffic