Zoom filters gone wrong: Lawyer tells judge ‘I’m not a cat’ during kitten filter mishap

It was a civil forfeiture case hearing like any other hearing, except for the lawyer cat.

Courts usually don’t let cats argue cases. But here was Rod Ponton, a county attorney in Presidio County, Texas, unable to figure out how to turn off the cat filter on his Zoom call during a hearing on Tuesday in Texas’ 394th Judicial District Court. The result was a video immediately hailed across the internet as an instant classic. It offered an injection of harmless levity when many people are experiencing a rough time — and Mr. Ponton took it in good spirits.

Though the shared recording was less than a minute long, its comedy unfurled second by second, as if it were meticulously scripted. Mr. Ponton, who was representing the State of Texas in the case, said that he was using his secretary’s computer and that she was mortified by the mistake. The video was on the court’s YouTube page, and Judge Ferguson himself tweeted out a link.

All in all, the episode took less than a minute before he figured out how to turn the filter off, and they returned to business as usual.