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Cat Zoom: Lawyer Rod Ponton surprised to become internet star

media captionSpot the difference: Texas lawyer Rod Ponton with and without the cat filter on

A Texas lawyer whose mishap with a cat filter on Zoom has made him an internet sensation says he is surprised at the global reaction.

A video of Rod Ponton appearing as a cat during a virtual court session has been viewed millions of times online.

“I did not know that Zoom could turn me into a cat. I did not know that cat Zoom could turn me into an internet celebrity, but it all happened in just a matter of hours,” he told the BBC.

He said he is trying to “roll with it”.

Mr Ponton said he was using his secretary’s computer when the filter popped up, replacing his face with that of a white kitten with large, concerned eyes.

As his assistant tries to rectify the issue, he can be heard saying: “I’m here live, I’m not a cat.”

“When I got on Zoom everything seemed fine – my picture popped up, I was in the waiting room with the judge. But when the judge called the case, I disappeared and a cat appeared instead of me to my great surprise of course,” he told the BBC’s Today programme on Wednesday.

Judge Roy Ferguson shared the video on social media, advising people to ensure that filters are switched off before joining virtual hearings.

Mr Ponton said the judge took it in good humour. “I think anybody who has ever struggled with a computer or Zoom can recognise that those kinds of things can happen,” he said.

He said he was initially concerned to receive a “deluge” of emails and phone calls following the viral video.

But he added: “In Texas we have a phrase that you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. If this was going to become an internet sensation I just had to laugh at myself along with everybody else doing so.”

media captionFrom pet and child interruptions to catching fire, here’s a look at the times online meetings went wrong

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