A Texas lawyer accidentally showed up to a court hearing with a Zoom kitten filter on

Court proceedings are supposed to be serious, solemn, and dignified. Silliness and shenanigans are not generally tolerated in a courtroom—a fact that judges, lawyers, and anyone who's ever been to court knows.

So when a lawyer shows up to a court hearing on Zoom with his face turned into an adorable kitten, what is the appropriate response? When the judge then points out that the lawyer has a cat filter on and the lawyer says—with his kitten face—he can't figure out how to turn it off, are the people present allowed to laugh out loud?

Because that scenario is universally hilarious. It also just happened for real in the 394th Judicial District Court of Texas.


According to the Houston Chronicle, lawyer Rod Ponton arrived at a hearing over Zoom with a kitten face filter activated on his computer. The filter, superimposed over Ponton's real face, reflects his speech and facial movements in the kitten's face, making it appear that the kitten is speaking.

District Judge Roy Ferguson immediately pointed out Ponton's problem, and the poor lawyer explained that he and his assistant were trying to change it. Ponton-as-kitten legitimately looks panicked, which is hilariously cute. It only gets funnier when the judge reiterates, "I think it's a filter," as if there was some possibility that the lawyer may, in fact, be a cat.


Then Ponton, with his kitten face, tells Judge Ferguson that he's prepared to go forward. "I'm here, live," he says. "I'm not a cat."

THE LAWYER ACTUALLY TOLD THE JUDGE HE WASN'T A CAT Y'ALL. You cannot write this stuff. This is forever funny 2021 gold, right here.

The kitten mishap was apparently short-lived, as they figured out how to turn it off shortly after this clip. But still, so dang funny.

Judge Ferguson apparently agreed that it was hilarious, since he shared the clip on YouTube along with this note on Twitter:

"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). #lawtwitter #OhNo

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

While legal proceedings are indeed serious business—and while it's impressive that those present managed to maintain their professionalism—it's nice to see Judge Ferguson share the fun of the moment. The absurdity of these times leads to absurdity at times, and being able to laugh together over such silliness is healthy comic relief.

If only Judge Ferguson had called for "claw and order," we'd have a perfect story on our hands. But this will definitely do for today.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


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