‘I’m Not a Cat’: Texas Lawyer Leaves Kitten Filter on During Zoom Hearing

kitten zoom hearing

YouTube Screenshot from the Texas Judicial Court kitten Zoom mishap.

A Texas county attorney accidentally left his kitten filter on during a Zoom hearing and struggled to turn it off as the judge tried to help. You can watch the moment below.


‘I’m Here Live, I’m Not a Cat,’ Ponton Declared


VideoVideo related to ‘i’m not a cat’: texas lawyer leaves kitten filter on during zoom hearing2021-02-09T14:15:17-05:00

Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton accidentally had his kitten filter on during a hearing with H. Gibbs Bauer and Jerry L. Phillips. The judge tried to help him figure out how to turn it off, as Ponton informed him that he was there and wasn’t actually a cat. The mishap happened during a live stream of virtual court proceedings for the 394th Judicial District Court of Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties, Judge Roy Ferguson presiding.

The judge tells Ponton in the video: “Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings. You might want to-.”

Ponton responds, through his kitten filter, “Can you hear me judge?”

Ferguson responds: “I can hear you. I think it’s a filter.”

“It is,” Ponton responds. “And I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve got my assistant here, she’s trying to, but ahhh I’m prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live, I’m not a cat.”

At this point, Phillips begins to laugh.

Ferguson responds, “I can see that.”

Shortly after, the video cuts off.

On the YouTube video, people shared numerous comments about how funny they thought the whole thing was. One person wondered about the warning on the video about a $500 fine or prison time for recording the live-streamed hearing, but the district court itself posted the video and then the judge later tweeted about it.

One person wrote: “This is the most delightful thing I’ve seen all day! Thank you.”

Another person commented: “Is this for real. I am dying.”


The Judge Tweeted About the Video, Advising Attorneys That a Kitten ‘Just Made a Formal Announcement on a Case’

Ferguson tweeted about the incident, advising attorneys to check their settings before hearings.

He wrote: “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).”

He followed up by writing: “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!”

Ponton told Vice that the filter was a mistake made by his secretary.

“Oh, that was just a mistake by my secretary,” he said. “I was using her computer and for some reason she had that filter on. I took it off and replaced it with my face. It was a case involving a man trying to exit the United States with contraband and contraband cash. All it was was a mistake. It was taken off and we had the hearing as normal.”

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