Did you see the 69-year-old lawyer who turned into a cat on his recent Zoom call? Well, it turns out he had no idea that the kitten filter and turned on! The whole court watched him talk like an animal for quite some time…
One Viral Lawyer
Everything seemed fine on Texas attorney Rod Ponton’s end when he started his court hearing. “It was a status hearing on a routine forfeiture case and the district judge is handling all the cases by Zoom,” Ponton said. However, he had no idea that he looked quite strange: he had accidentally turned on a Zoom filter that made him look like an adorable kitten. Despite the caption stating that “any capture of video or audio of this stream is prohibited, and may constitute contempt of court with a punishment of up to $500 fine and 180 days in the county jail,” the 394th Judicial District Court of Texas still posted the video to YouTube. The judge, Judge Roy Ferguson, even Tweeted about it!
The video shows Ponton as a cat, along with the two other people in the call. The kitten’s mouth and eyes move frantically as he realizes the issue – making the video even funnier! “Can you hear me judge?” he asks in the video. “I can hear you and I think it’s a filter.” Judge Ferguson replies to the worried attorney. But Ponton had no idea how to turn off the filter and actually needed to sit through the hearing as a kitten. “I don’t know how to remove it,” he said. “I’ve got my assistant here and she’s trying to remove it, but uh, I’m prepared to go forward with it.” Ponton felt so annoyed with the mishap that he tried to reassure everyone that he is indeed not a cat. “I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” he stated at the time.
Still, at the time, no one knew how popular the video would become!
A Fun Filter
As of this writing, the clip has earned over 10 million views so far on YouTube. Ponton has been working with the law for over four decades now and has never faced any similar issue before. Now, he does not know what to do with his newfound fame. But, the lawyer doesn’t mind, as long as someone finds it funny. “If someone can get a chuckle out of it,” he said. “I’ll take it.”
Even funnier, Ponton and his secretary still do not know how the error occurred. “I used the computer in a remote office that I have in Presidio. [using] my secretary’s computer. So I just logged into Zoom to have the hearing and instead of my face popping up, up pops the cat to my great surprise,” the lawyer recalled, laughing. “I was like, ‘Oh, s—.’ But you’re in a district court hearing, so I’m trying to get the filter off or continue the hearing, whatever the judge wants.”
Of course, due to the pandemic, many court cases have transitioned to Zoom calls. You think they would have it down by now! However, things do not always work out as they do! That’s a lesson we could all stand to learn.