Well, folks, it’s finally happened: the internet has delivered the funniest cat video ever—and there’s not even a real cat involved.

You’re probably thinking, I don’t know . . . I’ve seen a lot of funny cat videos. And it’s true—the internet is rife with our feline friends caught in all manner of hilarious predicaments.

But when Texas lawyer Rod Ponton joined a virtual hearing for the 394th District Court of Texas, he found himself in the middle of a prizewinning (wait for it) cat-astrophe. 

See, poor Mr. Ponton’s Zoom profile joined the meeting with a cat filter selected, and he could not figure out how to get rid of it. 

I cried actual tears of laughter watching this because it may just be the funniest thing I have ever seen online. 

“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a video filter turned on in the settings,” Judge Roy Ferguson patiently explains, as we see the worried-looking cat in the lower right corner of the Zoom grid. 

Attorney H. Gibbs Bauer, occupying the lower left square, puts on his glasses and leans in with a bemused look on this face. 

“It is and I don’t know how to remove it,” Mr. Ponton responds as his cat-eyes dart up worriedly. “My assistant here, she’s trying to, but I’m prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat.” 

“I can see that,” Judge Ferguson deadpans, as attorney Jerry Phillips in the top right square finally looks up and smirks.  

He’s not a cat, but dang it, he’s ready to work and you gotta hand it to him for that kind of dedication, right?!

You really just have to see it to appreciate just how hilarious and—and for any parent or employee who’s learning to navigate our virtual meetings-filled world knows—how utterly relatable the entire situation is:

Judge Ferguson shared the video clip of the hearing on his Twitter feed on Tuesday, with an important tip for all of us Zoomers of the new working world: “If a child uses 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).”


Judge Ferguson goes on to explain why the court released the video, saying it wanted to highlight “the legal community’s dedication to the cause of justice” in this virtual world. “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,” Judge Ferguson said. “Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!”

I think we can all agree on that verdict—and the fact that we’re all going to check out that cat filter on our next Zoom call . . .

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?!

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom