Body mod icon Stalking Cat has been confirmed dead
Stalking Cat, an international body modification icon, was found dead in his Nevada home November 5 at the age of 53. No cause of death has yet been stated.
Born Dennis Avner and a member of the Huron and Lakota nations, Stalking Cat was well known for his [extensive body modifications] which included near full-body tattooing, transdermal whiskers, extensive silicone facial implants, teeth filing, and splitting his lip and ears. Many of the modifications were experimental at the time and became more common only afterwards.
A former Navy veteran and self-employed computer programmer, Stalking Cat explained his body modifications were part of an old Huron practice no longer widely known. Having been featured on international programs and done countless appearances, Stalking Cat told BME Zine editors a few years ago that he “found fame, but never fortune.”
While the media obsesses over rumors of suicide and the “ethics” of allowing an individual to modify their body, those of us who choose to modify our bodies—even just a small tattoo—must remember that we had at least some of the way paved for us by Stalking Cat and other body mod icons. May he rest in peace.