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Zoom's 'Cat Lawyer' Speaks Out After Viral Video

'I disappeared and a cat appeared,' says Rod Ponton
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2021 9:15 AM CST

Everyone is supposedly due their 15 minutes of fame, and Rod Ponton just got his—except not as a human, but as a cat. Thanks to a video that went viral, the Texas attorney is now known around the world for being the lawyer on Zoom who couldn't figure out how to take a filter off his face, turning him into an on-screen feline during a virtual Presidio County court hearing. Ponton says he's surprised at the reaction to the video, which was shared online by Judge Roy Ferguson, but for now, he's just going to "roll with it." "I did not know that Zoom could turn me into a cat," he tells the BBC. He also didn't know "that cat Zoom could turn me into an internet celebrity, but it all happened in just a matter of hours." Ponton says he was using his secretary's computer for the meeting helmed by Ferguson, and at first everything seemed normal as he hung out in the virtual lobby, waiting for his case to be called.

Then Ferguson summoned him, and "I disappeared and a cat appeared instead of me, to my great surprise, of course." Ponton, who soon figured out how to turn the filter off, tells the New York Times his secretary was "mortified" for leaving the filter on before lending him her computer. He tells the BBC that he hopes others who've been using Zoom can relate to his online flub, adding, "If this was going to become an internet sensation, I just had to laugh at myself along with everybody else." Ferguson, for his part, issued a warning on Twitter soon after the computer cat-astrophe, cautioning anyone logging on to Zoom after a child has been on the computer to make sure all filters have been turned off. He also noted that he was "so pleased to have started a tweet that started the whole world laughing. The world needs more of it!" The Independent highlights some of the funniest reactions. (Read more Zoom stories.)

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