Was Dennis Avner Actually A Cat?
Who remembers Dennis Avner?
Born in 1958 in Flint, Michigan, Dennis Avner worked as a solar technician in the US Navy until 1981, when he left to become a computer programmer and technician in San Diego.
In the early 1980s, driven by a strong affinity for tigers, and in particular, for the tigress, he started getting extensive tattoos and body modifications to transform his appearance into something rather more cat-like than the body and face he was born with.
He became famous through media appearances, and was well-known at ‘furry’ conventions, where other people who strongly identified with non-human animals gather to celebrate their alternative lifestyle choices.
In a November 2009 edition of BBC News Magazine, Denise Winterman claimed that “Some furries assume animal traits — known as zoomorphism — and indentify strongly with certain species… But a small minority take it further still — believing they are animals trapped in human bodies, or consider themselves to be part animal. A study by [anthrozoologist, Kathy] Gerbasi at one furry convention found about a quarter of the participants did not consider themselves 100% human.”
A study at one furry convention found about a quarter of the participants did not consider themselves 100% human
Did this apply to Dennis Avner? Honestly, I’m not sure, but another story hit the headlines last month, involving a pupil at a school in Melbourne, Australia who apparently does identify as a cat.
And she’s not an isolated case — a number of other cases have recently been reported in Australia of students identifying as non-human animals, including four girls at a school in Brisbane, who apparently walk around on all fours and have cut holes in their school uniforms for their ‘tails’.
One girl, apparently, even screamed at a fellow pupil for accidentally sitting on her ‘tail’.
It’s an entertaining story — personally, I’ve always loved hearing about people who are different, who dare to step outside of mainstream society’s rules and…