TIME Business

Apparently Hello Kitty is a Human Girl, Not a Cat

The cat's out of the bag!

In a Los Angeles Times interview, Christine Yano, curator of an upcoming exhibit on Hello Kitty at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, said Sanrio considers its billion-dollar icon to be a human girl. As she put it:

“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.”

Cue the collective—and understandable—”What?!?!?!” on social media.

Sanrio indeed confirmed the news and also pointed us to Hello Kitty’s official bio:

As tall as five apples, and as heavy as three, Hello Kitty is a bright little girl with a heart of gold. She loves to bake cookies and play the piano, and dreams of one day becoming a pianist or maybe even a poet. She has a gift for music and English, and a soft spot for Mama’s apple pie. Hello Kitty and her twin sister Mimmy are the best of friends.

This story was updated to include Sanrio’s response.

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