NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A kitten filter is responsible for creating what is perhaps the most hilarious and adorable Zoom mishap in this age of working from home.
The video took off on Twitter, where it was posted Tuesday afternoon by Reuters reporter Lawrence Hurley, after the 394th District Court of Texas shared the clip on its YouTube page.
In the clip, which quickly racked up nearly 3.5 million views in its first two hours on Twitter, lawyer Rod Ponton showed up to a virtual court hearing, but there was just one problem — his face had been replaced by that of a wide-eyed kitten.
“Mr. Ponton I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” said the Hon. Judge Roy B. Ferguson, who was presiding over the case, which reportedly involved a man trying to leave the country with contraband.
“Can you hear me judge?” Ponton said, still in cat form.
“I can hear you,” Ferguson said. “I think it’s a filter.”
“It is and I don’t know how to remove it. I’ve got my assistant here and she’s trying to remove," Ponton said, as the kitten's eyes shifted back and forth and mouth moved as he spoke. "I'm prepared to go forward with it. I'm here live. I'm not a cat.”
"I can see that," Ferguson said as he then tried to walk Ponton through removing the filter.
Ponton told Vice's Motherboard that the filter was quickly taken off and the hearing proceeded as normal.
Addressing the mishap, Ponton told Motherboard that it was "a mistake by my secretary."
“I was using her computer and for some reason she had that filter on," he explained.
After the hearing, Judge Ferguson took to Twitter to share some sage advice.
"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," Ferguson said.
He gave credit to Ponton for handling the situation with "incredible grace."
"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," Ferguson said. "Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!"