The world’s most favorite mouthless cat has her likeness reproduced on nearly every item of clothing, stationery, and household good imaginable. An ambassador of cute, there is a lot more to know about Hello Kitty than you probably realized, like her family members, and the fact that… she’s not exactly a cat after all?
Here’s the surprising history of Hello Kitty… if that’s even her real name.
1. Her birthday is November 1, 1974, which means she is more than 40 years old in people years.
Remarkably, she has not aged a day.
2. Her full name is Kitty White.
Of course, she is known to the English-speaking world as Hello Kitty, and referred to in Japan as Kitty-chan.
3. Hello Kitty is in fact British.
While she was created by Japanese company Sanrio, her backstory states she was born in the outskirts of London.
4. Her height is “five apples”, and her weight is “three apples”.
5. And her favorite food? We’ll give you a hint: it includes apples again.
Give up? The answer is: her mother’s apple pie.
6. Did you know Hello Kitty’s blood type is A?
7. Hello Kitty also has a twin sister named Mimmy, who tends to be shy and reserved, and enjoys doing handicrafts like patchwork and embroidery.
To tell the two apart, Mimmy wears her bow on her right ear, and Kitty wears hers on her left.
8. Hello Kitty also has grandparents: grandmother Margaret and grandfather Anthony, and her mother and father Mary and George.
Her mother is a housewife (formerly a pianist!) who enjoys making pastries, which would explain why Hello Kitty’s favorite food is apple pie!
9. But you may wonder, how does she eat that pie without a mouth? Truth is, it’s not that she doesn’t have a mouth, just that it’s not drawn.
This is to allow the viewer to project their own feeling onto the character, allowing them to be happy or sad with her.
10. Some of you Kitty-philes may have already caught the shocking news – and simultaneously had your world turned upside-down – that Hello Kitty isn’t a cat.
The earth shattering revelation came about when a Sanrio representative was reported to have said, “She’s a cartoon character. She’s a little girl. She’s a friend. But she’s not a cat. She doesn’t walk on all fours – she has two legs, walks around, sits. She even has a pet.”
Perhaps saying she’s not a cat is a bit much, but by definition she is a “gijinka”, or personification of a cat. Much in the same way that, while no one would call Mickey Mouse a human, he’s not exactly all mouse either.
11. Most surprising information of all, however, is the speculation that Hello Kitty was originally intended to be a boy.
This comes from a mini-book that one used to be able to get along with the purchase of Sanrio goods, in which Kitty’s sister Mimmy calls her “onii-chan”, the Japanese word for older brother.
Without a doubt, this cat – er, cat personification – is full of surprises. What will we find out next?