Footage of a Texan lawyer denying he was a cat as he appeared with a feline filter on a live call captured the public imagination and quickly became a viral hit.

A lawyer showed up to virtual court in the 394th district of Texas with a kitten filter turned on, the cat moving its lips and eyes, as Rod Ponton said he and his assistant were attempting to remove the filter during the court case. The judge later posted the snipped and wrote: ‘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.’

And what everyone wanted to know was: “How do I get that filter?”

Some asked if it was utilising deepfake technology because the filter seemed sophisticated.

But it is a decades-old piece of software pre-installed on some Dell laptops.


The Live Cam Avatar software was also available for people to download.

It is not clear how the lawyer found himself speaking through the face of a worried-looking cat .

But it seems even in its heyday, there was a history of people becoming trapped as the avatar and finding it hard to remove.

‘Frantically scrolling’

Tweeting now the filter is back in the news, he says it “was the default setting on Dell’s webcam software”.

Another blog, written in 2010, offers a detailed explanation of how to remove “the stupid white cat”.

The company behind the filter, Reallusion, described it as a “customisable emotive facial animation that gives you much more fun that the conventional video chatting”.




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