Yes, you read that headline right. Hello Kitty is not, I repeat, NOT a cat. This, according to Sanrio, the original makers of the adorable childhood icon that kids and adults alike are obsessed with. How is this possible, you (and millions of other people) ask? I mean, her name is "Hello KITTY" — for crying out loud.
Well, according to Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii who has extensively studied the Hello Kitty phenomenon and is the curator of a new Hello Kitty exhibit in Los Angeles, Sanrio told her that "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."
Some other things you may not have known about Hello Kitty, revealed by Yano to the Los Angeles Times:
She's a perpetual third-grader
She's British (!!!)
Her mom and dad are George and Mary White
Her real name is Kitty White
She has a pet cat — a real cat that walks on all fours — named Charmmy Kitty
She loves apple pie
She's a Scorpio
And a real game changer ... Hello Kitty has a twin sister! Where has she been hiding all these years?! Is nothing real anymore?
Is your mind sufficiently blown? I know mine is.
UPDATE: Sanrio has apparently told news outlet Kotaku, that Hello Kitty is indeed a cat, just an anthropomorphic one: "Hello Kitty was done in the motif of a cat. It's going too far to say that Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is a personification of a cat."