Get ready to be totally shocked. Even if you could care less about Hello Kitty, everyone in the world knows the popular fictional character and children’s toy is a cat, right?
Wrong. Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii who is curating a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, recently referred to Hello Kitty as a cat.
She was quickly and sternly corrected by the fictional character’s creator, Japanese company Sanrio, who says the character is actually a human girl.
That’s mind-blowing, especially considering that the word “kitty” appears in the character’s name.
Yano said Sanrio made the correction after reading over the text for the exhibit.
I was corrected — very firmly… 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. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.
Apparently, Hello Kitty has her own story as well. Her name is Kelly White, and she’s a twin who’s in third grade. According to the LA Times,
She is a Scorpio. She loves apple pie. And she is the daughter of George and Mary White.
This may come as a surprise to many, but the character who has won over the hearts of millions of children is not who we thought she was.