Dennis Avner, known as “Cat Man” was found dead on Nov. 5 in his home of Tonopah, Nevada.
The 54-year-old former US Navy sonar technician, also known by his Native American name Stalking Cat, had become famous for transforming his face to resemble a tiger.
His cause of death has not been released, but it is believed he took his own life.
Shannon Larratt, who knew Stalking Cat, wrote in a blog post that Avner had tried to adopt the spiritual essence of the animal world. He had tried to transform “himself not just into a tiger, but a female tiger at that, blurring and exploring the gender line as much as the species line.”
“A wonderful and complex person, he was at times as troubled as he was remarkable, and he recently took his own life at the age of 54,” the piece read.