A lawyer in the United States accidentally appeared in a video conference hearing as a kitten after leaving the filter on and then had trouble getting rid of it.
"I'm here live. I'm not a cat."— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) February 9, 2021
A lawyer logged into the 394th Judicial District with a cat filter on and couldn't turn it off.
This may be the funniest video I've seen this year. pic.twitter.com/0RokVVpgeA
Texas lawyer Rod Ponton’s avatar as a wide-eyed baby cat has since been immortalised online as the hilarity of it all spread like wildfire.
The exchange between a po-faced judge (bottom left on screen) and a kitten trying to turn human was surreal.
“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” Judge Roy Ferguson told Ponton in the video.
Ponton/ kitten then interrupted the judge, speaking in a panicky drawl: “Can you hear me, judge?”
Ferguson responds: “I can hear you. I think it’s a filter...”
“It is,” Ponton responded, eyes darting about.
“And I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve got my assistant here, she’s trying to, but I’m prepared to go forward with it."
"I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”
In response, the judge deadpanned: “I can see that.”
This caused the other man, identified as Jerry L. Phillips, to look up to smile and laugh.
He had until that point appeared stony and unfazed by the cat.
Civil forfeiture case
According to the New York Times, the hearing was for a civil forfeiture case.
Ponton was representing the State of Texas.
Ponton said he started getting calls from reporters barely more than an hour after the hearing ended.
The video was put up on the court’s YouTube page.
Judge Ferguson tweeted out a link.
Ponton told NYT in a phone interview: “If I can make the country chuckle for a moment in these difficult times they’re going through, I’m happy to let them do that at my expense.”