The video chat has become the new normal in a time when conducting group meetings in person has become a health risk.
However, the convenience of teleconferencing can also result in hilarious and embarrassing mishaps like the one this Texas lawyer experienced.
Attorney Rod Ponton seemed to experience technical difficulty during a virtual court proceeding that required a judge to take "paws."
The attorney did not realize his daughter left a kitten filter on, prompting Judge Roy B. Ferguson of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas to kindly ask the digitally whiskered Ponton to check his Zoom settings.
Make sure you swallow that coffee to avoid spitting it out on your screen before watching the clip, below.
“I’m here live, I’m not a cat,” says lawyer after Zoom filter mishap “I can see that,” responds judge https://t.co/HclKlAUwbM— Lawrence Hurley (@Lawrence Hurley)1612895216.0
The judge said:
"Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings."
"You might want to …"
But the cute little kitty face on the screen opened its mouth and Ponton's voice was heard asking:
"Can you hear me judge?"
"I can hear you. I think it's a filter …"
Ponton—who appeared to other participants on the session as a slightly panicked kitty—said he was aware of the problem and continued:
"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."
The judge deadpanned:
"I can see that."
@lawrencehurley this tweet claimed its first victim when I died right heeeere ... https://t.co/9C8Se9s39M— Sam Eifling (@Sam Eifling)1612901280.0
The cat filter was disabled minutes after the clip ended, thanks to the judge who helped walk Ponton through the process.
Twitter was in stitches over the purr-fect clip.
@lawrencehurley OMG the emotional roller-coaster...🤣 https://t.co/q2qciUbiHB— || $0uRc3 || (@|| $0uRc3 ||)1612897228.0
@_sourceE @lawrencehurley 🤣I needed this laugh!— Independent Voter (@Independent Voter)1612897857.0
@_sourceE @lawrencehurley I laughed so hard at this I think I now have asthma. 🤣🤣— Riccardo Saine (@Riccardo Saine)1612899349.0
@_sourceE @lawrencehurley When you're a cat and you're trying to convince a judge you aren't actually a cat— Connoisseur of Fine Internets (@Connoisseur of Fine Internets)1612920296.0
@_sourceE @lawrencehurley I’m not surviving this one.. 😂😂😂— Suus Zaterdag (@Suus Zaterdag)1612905934.0
@lawrencehurley “I’m not a cat.” That’s EXACTLY what a cat would say— 🦁𝑰 𝑫𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒀𝒐𝒖 🌙 (@🦁𝑰 𝑫𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒀𝒐𝒖 🌙)1612897383.0
Later in a CNN phone interview, Ferguson confirmed the feline fumble really did take place.
"It did actually happen. There was no joke involved."
"When a child had been using the computer, (the child) turned on a filter. Of course, the lawyer would have no reason to even know that feature exists."
Despite the snafu, Ferguson commended the professionalism of the session's participants.
"If you watch carefully, no one mocked him or laughed at him. It just showed the professionalism and the dignity that these lawyers bring to virtual hearings."
He also used the hilarious incident as a teachable moment on Twitter and attached the YouTube link to the video.
IMPORTANT ZOOM TIP: If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the Zoom Video Options… https://t.co/cWm6ntEDcX— Judge Roy Ferguson (@Judge Roy Ferguson)1612894005.0
Media outlets, you may use the video. It was recorded during a virtual hearing in the 394th DC of TX, and released… https://t.co/1AqzyJOULi— Judge Roy Ferguson (@Judge Roy Ferguson)1612905652.0
So make sure you do a quick check of your settings the next time you log on for your Zoom session.
There is a paw-ssibility you may not appear as yourself to those watching you.