Who is Rod Ponton and why has he gone viral?

ROD Ponton hit the headlines after appearing in an online court case in a kitten filter via a Zoom call.

Judge Roy B. Ferguson saw the funny side though – as did millions of others after the video went viral.

Who is Rod Ponton?

Rod Ponton is an attorney in Texas.

Ponton's Zoom screen showed a gray kitten that blinked when Ponton blinked and spoke when Ponton spoke during an online hearing Texas' 394th District court in Brewster County.

"Mr. Ponton I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings," Brewster County Judge Roy B. Ferguson told Ponton on the publicly streamed Zoom call.

"Ahhh," says Ponton, but through the purrfectly synced kitten filter that does little to disguise his heavy Texan accent.

"Can you hear me judge?" asked Ponton in feline-form.

"I can hear you, I think it's a filter," responded Ferguson.

The cat masquerading as Ponton nods.

"It is and I don't know how to remove it," Ponton says in cat form.

Fellow attorney H. Gibbs Bauer at this point puts on his glasses and squints at the screen to presumably see the cat-ified Ponton. Jerry L. Phillips, the other attorney in the Zoom room, does little to suppress his smile at the odd situation.

"I’ve got my assistant here and she’s trying to remove it but uh," Ponton says. "I'm prepared to go forward with it. I’m here live. I’m not a cat."

"I can see that," Ferguson responds before then giving Ponton instructions on how to rid the filter.

Why has Rod Ponton gone viral?

Ponton, who said he was unaware the video was made public and that he was not using his own computer for the case.

"Oh, that was just a mistake by my secretary," he told Vice. "I was using her computer and for some reason she had that filter on."

"I took it off and replaced it with my face. It was a case involving a man trying to exit the United States with contraband and contraband cash," Ponton said. "All it was was a mistake. It was taken off and we had the hearing as normal.”

Ferguson took to Twitter to poke fun at the situation a little more.

"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 (sound on)," he tweeted.

"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," he continued. "Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!"

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