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Draven Rodriguez Dead - Laser Cat Yearbook Meme Star Dies at 17

Draven Rodriguez Dead - Laser Cat Yearbook Meme Star Dies at 17

In sad news, popular internet sensation Draven Rodriguez has died at 17 from an apparent suicide, according to his parents statement to Times Union.

The Schenectady High School senior rose to internet fame after he petitioned for his yearbook picture to be one of him surrounded by lasers and holding a cat.

The image quickly went viral and became a meme.

“He made friends wherever he went,” Draven‘s father told the news organization. “He had friends all over the country – people he’d met at youth-leadership conferences, online, just around town.”

Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

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Photos: Vincent Giordano/
Posted to: Draven Rodriguez, RIP

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  • kellyf

    It breaks my heart anytime someone takes their own life, but especially young people. I worry that they don’t fully grasp the permanence of their decision and I’m so sorry that this young man wasn’t able to see how many great possibilities life can hold. If anyone else is going through a similar struggle, ask for help. It gets so much better.

  • jason

    People who live for social media approval and notoriety often don’t live a real life. They often spend hours in the internet to compensate for their lack of essence. Sad that parents don’t get involved in their children’s lives. I see this trend in which children dominate their parents. It should be the other way around. Parents please control your little f u ck ers until they are adults.

  • Mary Martinez

    Sigh! Hate to say I saw this coming. Don’t know what his orientation was and it doesn’t matter; suicide among our young people is at epidemic proportions as of the last 5 years. What I fail to understand is: If a kid is being bullied, ignored, overwhelmed by issues at home or just not good socially and becomes depressed and suicidal as a result BUT then gets recognition for something and is given all the things he lacked in the beginning-why does he go on to commit suicide anyway? If you are a parent of a child who’s struggling with acceptance issues you hope and pray that your child is finally loved and cared about. In this case that seemed to happen for this young man but he still commits suicide!

    I’m only speculating as far as what issues he was dealing with but seeing how almost every teen suicide is the result of lack of acceptance, I know I’m not far off the mark. So what are we supposed to do for our kids? Nothing and they commit suicide? Something (his parents stood by him and fought for his right to use the photo) and still he commits suicide? So then what?

    This makes my heart ache. I know what its like to be that kid. I was severely bullied because of profound disabilities all through school-from kindergarten through college-and I had considered suicide many times but I never did it no matter how bad things got. My reason for not doing it was simple: I didn’t want to give my haters the satisfaction of knowing that they succeeded in getting rid of me and I had a few family members who loved me and I didn’t want to hurt them. I also knew that I would be forgotten by the bullies and that my death wouldn’t make them feel remorse. I was also afraid that once they got rid of me they would be more keen to drive the next kid to suicide. As much as I considered my own pain and hopelessness I also considered what would happen once all was said and done. When days were really bad I turned to prayer and lost myself in music, my song of choice for the bad days was/is by the rock group Genesis-”Its Gonna Get Better”-

    ‘Reach out hands in the air don’t care-just what they’re saying.
    Hold on, just keep on hoping against hope, that its gonna get better.
    Shout out, someone will listen to you, to me, someone’s gonna see.’

    Those words pulled me from the brink hundreds of times. I had to be the one to have the strength to believe it. I also had to accept that it was not MY problem that I wasn’t liked and that there may not be a solution for that even if an adult advocated for me. It was up to me to find value in myself and lifelines-like the lyrics to a song and belief in God-because I knew that the only one who could stop me from destroying myself was ME.

    I pray that his parents don’t blame themselves; they did the best they could. I hope that something changes in the way young people are taught to deal with life because you only get one life and its not given to us to be wasted.

  • Christian

    a balance must be found. you can’t be too easy and you can’t be too tough. both of those things can cause mental illness

  • Geth Facen

    You say you saw this coming and you didn’t try to stop it. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Living in a box

    May his soul rest in peace. Such a young age.

  • xyz

    so no reason why he did this?