Catastrophe struck in a virtual courtroom on Tuesday after Texas attorney, Rod Ponton arrived to a digital court date dressed in his finest suit ... a catsuit that is. Upon logging on to a Zoom civil forfeiture hearing, Ponton found himself in a purrplexing situation when a cute, fluffy cat filter appeared onscreen, obscuring his face, a setting he greatly struggled to remewve.
"Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings," Judge Roy Ferguson pointed out upon seeing the attorney's erm, clawful new look. Although Ponton -- more like PAWnton -- was well aware of the filter, he couldn't seem to figure out how to (cat)nip in the bud. "It is and I don't know how to remove" he said. "I've got my assistant here and she's trying to," Amid their troubles taking down the filter, Ponton was still determined to move ahead with the hearing. " I'm prepared to go forward with it," he said. And it seems he wasn't kitten around about getting down to business, taking a meowment to remind the virtual court attendees that he was, in fact, no feline. "I'm here live, I'm not a cat," he clarified.
Fortunately, the Judge FURgus-- sorry, Ferguson appeared understanding. "I can see that," he replied.
Even amid these complications, seems the Judge took the snafu in stride, issuing words of wisdom to other attorneys on Twitter later that day. "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," he wrote of the incident. "This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th."
Ponton, too, took the mishap in stride. "If I could make everyone laugh at my expense I'm happy to do that," he explained to NBC News. "It's an example of what can happen in our computer connected world."
So remember, folks, always take a moment of paws before logging on to an important zoom call -- unless you want to make your next meeting one your coworkers will never forkit.