You might want to sit down for this one.
Sanrio has revealed Hello Kitty -- the supposedly adorable feline character that adorns everything from lunch boxes and toasters to t-shirts and lingerie -- is, in fact, not a cat. We repeat NOT A CAT.
Just what is Hello Kitty, you're asking?
Hello Kitty is a girl (and a British one at that), Christine R. Yano, the author of "Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific," told The Los Angeles Times.
"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," Yano explained to the Times.
And if you are ready for your mind to be just a little more blown, the character we all know as Hello Kitty is actually Kitty White -- a Scorpio who loves apple pie, and is the daughter of George and Mary White.
"She has a twin sister. She's a perpetual third-grader. She lives outside of London. I could go on. A lot of people don't know the story and a lot don't care," Yano told the paper.
UPDATE: Reached by a reporter for RocketNews24, a representative for Sanrio said, "We never said she was a human." The representative never said she was a cat.
UPDATE 2: Well, it seems there may have been some (intentional?) confusion here. When Sanrio told Yano that Hello Kitty wasn't a cat, it appears they meant she wasn't a cat in the context of what it means to be a cat in our reality, not the cartoon universe Sanrio has created.
"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."
The specific word that the Sanrio spokesperson used to describe Hello Kitty was "gijinka" (擬人化), which means "anthropomorphization" or "personification."
One again, to clarify, I asked the Sanrio spokesperson, "Then, it would be going too far to say that Hello Kitty was not a cat?" The spokesperson replied, "Yes, that would be going too far."
Ok, so if Hello Kitty is the personification of a cat, can we talk for a moment about why she has her own pet cat (actual furball cat) named Charmmy Kitty? Because that's just messed up.