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Sanrio Reveals That Hello Kitty Isn’t Actually A Cat – Wait, What?

John Sciulli/Getty Images for Children Mending Hearts

Hello Kitty is everywhere these days. Every product that’s ever been made has a Hello Kitty version, I’m pretty sure (there’s a whole display at Best Buy, I’ve seen it.) But it turns out that we’ve all been living in a world of lies because Sanrio, the creators of Hello Kitty, have revealed that Hello Kitty isn’t a cat at all. But then… why is her name “Hello Kitty”? This is confusing.

The company claims that Hello Kitty is actually a little girl, not a cat. And she’s British, not Japanese. 

Starting in October, the Japanese American National Museum in LA will be hosting a and exhibit called Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty. It looks at the history and influence of Hello Kitty, who was created by Yuko Shimizu in 1974. The exhibit is being curated by Christine R. Yano, professor and author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific. Yano talked with Carolina A. Miranda at LA Times to reveal a few little known facts about everyone favorite cat (girl? I don’t know.)

That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature.

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that CARTOON CHARACTERS couldn’t be animals if they walk only on their hind legs (I’m looking at you, Goofy, Snoopy, and Brian the dog.)

Turns out our favorite cat-looking-non-cat’s actual name is Kitty White, and she was born on November 1. Her parents are Mary and George White. She lives just outside of London with them an her twin sister Mimmy. She has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty who looks exactly like her, but is apparently actually a cat. She also has a hamster named Sugar who mostly looks like a tiny bear.

Mind. Blown.

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