Rod Ponton, a county attorney in Presidio County, Texas, has achieved internet meme and culture hero status for forgetting to turn off his cat filter on his own Zoom call during a hearing on Tuesday.
Ponton met with other lawyers during a Zoom call for a hearing in Texas’ 394th Judicial District Court, according to The Washington Post.
Ponton appeared as a cat on screen. Judge Roy Ferguson, presiding over the case, noticed the situation and said, “Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings.”
- Ponton sighed with grief. You can see the cat filter look at the corner of the screen in somewhat sadness.
- “I don’t know how to remove it,” Ponton said. “I’ve got my assistant here and she’s trying to.”
- Seconds later, he said, “I’m prepared to go forward with it.”
- Then he sayid, “I’m here live. I’m not a cat.” Eventually, he figures out his filter and changes back to a human.
The video went viral across the internet Tuesday, spawning a number of social media reactions.
How did it happen?
Ponton told The New York Times that he was using his secretary’s computer. She was “mortified” by the mistake, he said.
“My older and less humorous face popped up, and we continued with the hearing,” Ponton said about the meeting.
Judge Roy Ferguson tweeted out a link to the video with his reaction: “IMPORTANT ZOOM TIP: If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the Zoom Video Options to be sure filters are off. This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th (sound on).”
Social media shared a number of reactions to the clip, pointing out the hilarity in what happened and how it could really happen to any of us.
Is there a filter for Zoom that turns cats into lawyers?— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) February 9, 2021
Can't get over the lawyer wanting to go on w the hearing as a cat— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 10, 2021
Imagine appearing in a court proceeding as a kitten and having to declare that you're not actually a cat and still not cracking the top two worst lawyer performances that received national attention today.— Rachel Barkow (@RachelBarkow) February 10, 2021