Anyone who knows me knows I like cats. But not as much as this dude. No one could like cats as much as Denis Avner, who was known as "Cat Man" for the rather obvious reason that he had numerous plastic surgeries to make himself look, well, like a cat. Specifically, a tiger. In fact, his tattoos, piercings, and cosmetic surgeries were so plentiful that he earned a world record for body modifications. But if reports are true, no amount of changing his exterior could save his interior -- he reportedly may have committed suicide.
Avner also went by his Native American name, "Stalking Cat." If you look at pictures of him, you will be truly startled. In his face is little left of a human being as we recognize it. His eyes are slanted like a cat's and he wears colored contacts. His cheeks bulge out. His teeth are sawed and carved to feline perfection. He had piercings put in for whiskers. He's tattooed with the stripes of a tiger. I can only imagine that wherever he went, he was greeted with stares, gasps, and finger pointing. Which must be what he wanted, considering his physical appearance took a lot of effort.
According to Wikipedia, Avner's "totem" was a tiger and he began his face modifications in an effort to "follow the ways of the tiger." He also reportedly dedicated himself to "exploring the species line as much as possible," said a friend. And apparently in Native American tradition, it's not that unusual to try to look like your spiritual inspiration. But I'd guess that even Native Americans would say that Avner went pretty damn far in his spiritual quest. In fact, if becoming one with your totem is any guarantee of emotional fulfillment, then Avner should have been the happiest man on the planet -- clearly not the case if he took his own life.
There may be a story here that I'm not aware of. Perhaps Avner was sick. Perhaps taking his life was just another way of showing devotion to his "cat ways." (Don't they have nine lives?) I don't know. But I tend to believe that anyone who alters their outside to a huge extent is really trying to alter their inside -- and it doesn't work. It must be a sad shock for people who get a physical "ideal" in their minds and work very hard to achieve it -- only to find that they still feel like the same person.
Rest in peace, Cat Man.
What do you think of this man's surgeries? Here he talks about them in this video.
Image via DiagonalView/YouTube