‘I’m not a cat’: Texas lawyer trapped by cat filter informs choose on Zoom name


Washington, February 10

Despite the difficult times arising out of COVID-19, the newly introduced practices like online court proceedings often lead to funny stress-busting moments. One such incident took place on Tuesday (local time) when an attorney in west Texas accidentally left a cat filter on during Zoom call court proceeding and was unable to change it, eventually responding to a judge’s query about why he was being addressed by a digital feline by saying: “I am here live. I am not a cat.”

During a virtual court proceeding in the 394th Judicial District Court in Brewster County, Texas, attorney Rod Ponton accidentally logged on to the meeting with a cat filter emblazoned across his screen.

Taking to Twitter, Judge Roy Ferguson shared a video of the Zoom hearing and said, “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).”

In the video, Ferguson warns Ponton, saying “I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings.”

Ponton responded to the judge saying he is aware but he does not know how to remove the cat filter.

“I do not know how to remove it. I have got my assistant here, she is trying to. But I am prepared to go forward with it,” said Ponton. “I am here live, I am not a cat.”

However, the judge thanked Ponton for clarifying that he was, in fact, still a human.

“I can … I can see that,” said Ferguson.

I another tweet, Ferguson praised the lawyer for showing “true professionalism” and keeping his cool as the group worked through the unexpected mishap.

“These fun moments are a by-product of the legal profession’s dedication to ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times. Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!” he said.

The judge further explained the reason to share this clip and said it crucial that this not be used to mock the lawyers, but instead to exemplify the legal community’s dedication to the cause of justice.

“It was recorded during a virtual hearing in the 394th DC of TX, and released for educational purposes. It is crucial that this not be used to mock the lawyers, but instead to exemplify the legal community’s dedication to the cause of justice,” he added.

In a similar incident in 2019, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia had issued an apology after they mistakenly activated a cat filter during the live streaming of a news conference about a double murder case last week.

As the cat filter got activated, a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who was addressing a group of reporters on Friday (local time), suddenly appeared on computer screens with cat ears on her head and whiskers on her face, New York Post reported.

The police were giving a very serious press conference into the brutal killing of an American woman and an Australian man who was shot on the side of a highway while touring British Columbia.

The cat filter had been on an “automatic setting” and police said later, adding that they were working to fix the problem.—ANI



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