Compromise secures NY teen’s cat-and-laser photo spot in yearbook after all

Posted at 8:44 AM, Sep 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-18 08:44:46-04

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (PIX11) – An upstate teen’s creative cat-and-laser photo will be in the yearbook after all thanks to a compromise made with his principal, who is getting in on the fun, too.

Draven Rodriguez and his cat Mr. Bigglesworth will be sharing the spotlight with his Schenectady High School principal Diane Wilkinson and her dog, according to the Daily Gazette.

In the original photo that made countless news reports, Rodriguez holds Mr. Bigglesworth to his cheek against a backdrop of blue and pink lasers.

Another, faded image of the feline sits in the upper right corner of the photo with Mr. Bigglesworth peering off into the distance.

As part of the compromise, Rodriguez and his cat will be joined by Principal Diane Wilkinson and her dog – and the lasers are staying. The photo will be featured on the principal’s yearbook page.

A spokesperson for Rodriguez’s school initially said the photo wouldn’t be allowed in the senior portrait section, but it could see life in another part of the yearbook.

Knowing that the unconventional photo may not be welcomed with open arms, the teen created an online petition – his “pre-emptive strike” – to garner support for the picture.

He set a goal of 500 signatures. He netted more than 7,200.

“I can’t believe how huge this is,” Rodriguez wrote on the petition website.

Naturally, there are t-shirts bearing then now-infamous photo.

They’re selling for $29 and the money will go toward “a cheap car” for Rodriguez, his college fund and the photographer who made all of this possible.