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Zoe the earless kitten

Zoe the Fearless, Earless Kitten

By Eileen Mitchell, San Francisco Chronicle
February 25, 2009

In today's hectic world, finding quality time to spend with a loved one can be a challenge, especially for a single parent with a young child. But not for Melissa Webb, a bookkeeper, and her 9-year-old daughter, Lexy, an aspiring veterinarian.

When the Kingsville, Texas, pair adopted an abused kitten whose ears had been sliced off, they were inspired to write a touching children's book titled "Zoe the Earless Kitten." Today, mother and daughter visit local elementary schools, sharing Zoe's experience and teaching children the importance of kindness to animals. They also hope their story will encourage the adoption of animals that appear less than perfect.

"About three years ago, my daughter, Lexy and I adopted an abused kitten. Someone had cut off her ears when she was only two weeks old and then threw her in a dumpster to die. She was rescued by our local animal rescue, Animal Rescue Kleberg (ARK) in Kingsville, Texas.

"They doctored up the little tabby and our next door neighbor, who works for ARK, fostered her until she was well enough to be adopted. One day, our neighbor called us over to see this poor kitten with no ears. When my daughter and I saw her, it was love at first sight. We both cried because of the pain she must have endured, but we knew instantly that we could give her the love she so desperately needed.

"Lexy and I wanted to learn more about animal abuse and find out if there was anything that we could do. We decided to write a book about our kitty's experience, and see if we could get it published, and we did! Our book, 'Zoe the Earless Kitten' is available online and in some bookstores.

"In recent months, we have been visiting schools to talk about Zoe and animal abuse. The children love the book. We tell them what happened to Zoe, and how they should never ever hurt an innocent animal, and the children vow to us to never hurt animals. They are also really inspired that someone close to their age wrote a book.

"Lexy and I also stress that we didn't choose Zoe just because we felt sorry for her, even though that was part of it. We chose her because we knew that just because she had no ears didn't mean she didn't need to be loved like any other animal. We use this as an opportunity to teach children that we are all different on the outside, but we are all the same on the inside.

"Despite her horrific abuse, Zoe hears just fine. However, when she lost her ears, we suspect she may have also lost some of her marbles! Our crazy cat loves doing crazy things, like being carried upside down, eating ice cream, and playing dead when we tell her to leave our bird alone. She also loves jumping in the tub when Lexy is taking a bath, then racing through the house and getting everything wet before returning to splash in the tub.

"Our home is filled with eight loving pets: one bird, three cats and four dogs. Zoe has just recently learned how to growl like her canine brothers and we are now waiting for her to start barking.

" This has been a wonderful adventure for Lexy and me, and we hope to continue it long into the future. Zoe the Earless Kitten is going to become a series of books about her different adventures. We love sharing Zoe's happy ending and how wonderfully she has made it through this tragedy."
Getting to know Zoe

Meet Zoe at and don't miss the Blog link, which features a brief video of Zoe and the rest of the Webb tribe.

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