A video call mishap has left netizens in splits as an anxious-looking cat peered out of the screen during the virtual court proceedings in the US. "I'm not a cat," the beleaguered lawyer insisted, unable to undo the rather adorable filter morphing his face.
In a situation that has probably been faced by many of us during the pandemic, lawyer Rod Ponton found that his Zoom meeting just would not cooperate. As he joined the call to make a formal announcement on a case, it was a split screen with two human faces and a cat that looked back.
His mouth moved as he spoke, and his large expressive eyes swiveled back and forth as he searched for ways to fix the error -- but it was quite unmistakably a cat.
"Can you hear me judge?" he queried, agreeing with the judge as the latter suggested that this was 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 it but…I'm prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat," he added.
And while some cannot stop talking about the kitten's hilarious expressions, most were impressed by Ponton's ability to handle the situation. "The man was prepared to move forward argue his case as a cat. If that's not grace under fire, I don't know what is," said one Twitter user.
"They never prepared us in law school for what to do if you suddenly turned into a cat while appearing before a judge," rued another.
The bemused cat was also a contrast to the other individuals on the call who cracked a smile at their colleague's plight. "A round of applause to everyone who kept a straight face in the meeting," one Twitter user noted.
The clip was also an opportunity for a slew of bad puns. "Really impressive how the judge and lawyers 'purrsevered' throughout the whole thing without any interruption. 'Meow' did they do it without bursting out laughing?" joked one user.
Judge Roy Ferguson who was presiding over the session later took to Twitter sharing the short clip and a "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 advised.