He Was There Live. He Was Not a Cat.

He was prepared to go forward as a cat.

Like so much of the world, the criminal justice system has gone virtual during the pandemic, with cases being conducted via Zoom. In a recent court case in the 394th district of Texas, attorney Rod Ponton showed up with a kitten filter turned on. It was tremendous, and thankfully, the judge uploaded the video to share with the world. Here’s a screen capture:

The full video is well, well worth a watch or 20.1

The video is just over 40 seconds long, and yet there’s so much to enjoy, including:

  • The judge’s initial courtesy in attempting to alert Mr. Ponton to the issue.

  • The way the cat’s eyes shift downward when the filter is first mentioned, conveying shame.

  • H. Gibbs Bauer in the lower-left, leaning forward and putting on his glasses to examine just what the judge (heard only in voiceover) is describing. It seems he hadn’t noticed until then.

  • Rod Ponton’s first vocalization, a sort of “Augh” that beautifully captures his feelings as he and his assistant are no doubt scrambling to correct the problem.

  • The lower-casing of “ron ponton”, which doesn’t seem correct for a lawyer, but would be just right for a cat lawyer.

  • The cat’s nodding, as it agrees that this is indeed a filter.

  • Mr. Ponton’s willingness to “go forward with it”, seemingly meaning he would be content to conduct the proceedings as a cat.

  • Mr. Ponton’s statement that “I’m here, live. I’m not a cat”.

I think my very favorite part, however, is Jerry L. Phillips in the upper right trying and failing to keep his composure at the very end. Perhaps Zoom can provide a “Serious Jerry” filter he could use in the future.


  1. I can’t fathom this video ever disappearing from the Internet, but just in case, it’s archived here. ↩︎