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not a cat

'I'm not a cat': Lawyer goes viral for accidental kitten filter

Rod Ponton said he still isn’t sure how the cat filter entered the virtual courtroom. / YouTube

A LAWYER IN Texas has gone viral after accidentally activating a kitten filter during a virtual courtroom session. 

Footage of the incident on Tuesday shows lawyer Rod Ponton struggling to remove the filter, while judge Roy Ferguson attempted to help him. 

“I don’t know how to remove it … but I’m prepared to go forward with it,” Ponton is heard saying in the video. 

“I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”

Ponton said when he got on the Zoom call everything seemed fine while he was in the waiting room.

“When the judge called the case I disappeared and a cat appeared instead of me, to my great surprise of course,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Ponton said he was using his secretary’s computer at the time and  “everybody’s face popped up except mine, mine was a cat”. 

He and his team still aren’t sure how he ended up with the filter in the virtual courtroom but he has accepted his newfound internet stardom. 

“It just miraculously appeared,” he said of the filter. 

“You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. If it’s got out, it’s gone viral, let it go.”

“As it turns out in hindsight it’s provided a good laugh, I think, for the country,” he said.

“I think anybody that’s ever struggled with a computer, with Zoom, can recognise that those kinds of things can happen and it certainly did happen to me.

“I think the judge was amused, and he took it in good humour, and he’s the one who posted the video to share a funny moment and caution people to make sure your kids don’t have a filter on the computer when you’re trying to do something serious.

A re-post of the mishap to Twitter now has more than six million views.

Judge Ferguson explained that he has seen several Zoom mishaps since beginning virtual proceedings at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, including some “colourful celebrations” from people in court.

“It can be a little dicey,” he said.

Judge Ferguson highlighted that what happened was a “simple mistake that could happen to any one of us” and he did not wish for people to “poke fun” at the lawyer for the mishap.

“It goes hand-in-hand with the legal community’s effort to continue representing their clients in these challenging times,” he said.

- Additional reporting from PA

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