Hello Kitty isn't a cat

A woman looks at a Hello Kitty figurine, studded with a total of 19,636 Swarovski crystals, during...

A woman looks at a Hello Kitty figurine, studded with a total of 19,636 Swarovski crystals, during a press preview of Swarovski's Hello Kitty collection at an event entitled "House of Hello Kitty" in Tokyo on June 29, 2011. The figurine, limited to 88, will be on sale worldwide with a price tag of 1,155,000 yen ($14,246). REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Julia Alexander, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:17 PM ET

Hello Kitty isn't a cat.

Seriously. She's also, apparently, British.

During a visit to the Japanese American National Museum to preview a Hello Kitty exhibtion, L.A. Times reporter Carolina A. Miranda was "very firmly" told that the loveable Japanese cartoon character wasn't a cat, but a little girl.

"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," Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii and author of the book Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific, told Miranda.

Yano added that while Hello Kitty isn't actually a cat, she does have a pet cat of her own.

We honestly couldn't make this up if we tried.

"She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."

With every revelation, the general public seemed to become more confused at the thought of what Hello Kitty actually was. Luckily, Yano was able to point out key facts regarding the mythological past of the cartoon phenomenon to clear up some grey areas.

Hello Kitty's full name is Kitty White, and she lives in London with her mother, father, and twin sister Mimmy.

Alongside her pet cat, she also has a pet hamster named Sugar who was given to her by a beloved childhood friend, Dear Daniel.

Before this disturbing revelation, imagining a cat with a pet hamster would have seemed utterly ridiculous.

A young girl, however, who merely resembles a cat and who is referred to as Hello Kitty makes the situation all the more plausible.

Despite Hello Kitty not being a cat or Japanese, Yano said the kawaii (cute) icon has always had a special resonance with the Asian community that grew up within the United States.

"[Hello Kitty] is something they saw as an identity maker. This is why the exhibtion is being held at the Japanese American National Museum. It's about reconnecting her to the community. It gives the whole thing a certain poignancy and power."

Miscommunications may have been cleared up, but it may be a while before the millions of Hello Kitty aficionados are willing to give up their favourite feline's previous identity.


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