It’s “Claw and Order.”
A Texas lawyer was turned into a cattorney by a pesky Zoom filter during a virtual court hearing, leaving other participants on the call stifling laughter as the judge tried to walk him through a fix.
“I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” confused lawyer Rod Ponton mewled like a lost tabby in a brief video clip of the accidental species swap — though his Zoom panel said otherwise, portraying him as an adorable, blue-eyed kitten.
The 42-second clip was tweeted Tuesday by Judge Roy Ferguson, along with some helpful tech 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,” wrote Ferguson, of Texas’ 394th Judicial District Court, encompassing Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Hudspeth and Presidio counties. “This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th.”
The clip commences with Ponton already rendered a cat, and Ferguson trying to troubleshoot the problem.
“I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” said Ferguson. “You might want to, uh, take a look.”
The flustered “feline” assured Ferguson that his team was trying to remove the filter — but that he was willing to proceed with the case with or without whiskers.
“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,” said Ponton. “I’m here live. I’m not a cat.”
The judge thanked Ponton for clarifying that he was, in fact, still a human.
“I can … I can see that,” said Ferguson.
The jurist then continued trying to walk Ponton through the problem, but the clip cut out before the snafu was resolved.
Virtual video conferences have become a part of daily life for many around the globe since the coronavirus pandemic hit — often bringing with them embarrassing technical difficulties or unsolicited glimpses into people’s personal lives.
Last week, New Hampshire lawmakers were ordered to keep their animals out of the room during legislative Zoom calls, though it wasn’t immediately clear if pols were also prohibited from becoming animals themselves.