It was recently announced by Sanrio, the company that owns the Hello Kitty brand, that Hello Kitty is not actually a cat.
Interviews with Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist and expert on all things Hello Kitty, brought out her perspective on the topic:
“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.”
Of course! Who couldn’t tell that the creature with pointy ears, a button nose and whiskers isn’t a cat?
I just got off stage to find out that Hello Kitty is not a cat. This is worse than finding out Pluto is not a planet.
— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) August 28, 2014
The news came like an arrow to the childhood of a great many people who’ve grown up with the lovable kitty; people who’ve owned Hello Kitty stickers and figures and notebooks and diaries. Very few articles have captured the amount of disbelief fans of Hello Kitty have had to endure since the announcement. Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly said it best:
“So somewhere in London there is a little girl named Kitty White who looks like a cat but is not a cat, but she has a cat who is a cat named Charmmy Kitty. Which means that Kitty White turned her first name into her pet’s surname and gave her a different first name, which makes as much sense as anything else I’ve written in the past couple paragraphs.”
Franich’s article tries to make sense of the strange situation, but very few people are ready to accept the truth. This is a lot like when scientists demoted Pluto from its planet status. Some people will never be able to see it as anything else.
Hello Kitty is not a cat Tweety Bird is a boy Eeyore is a girl Piglet is a boy – My whole childhood was a lie.
— kate alexandra (@6002thealex) August 31, 2014
The revelation that Hello Kitty is not a cat may be confusing to older fans, but to a child it’s almost devastating.
In the video above, you can see a young girl names Lou just after she’s received the news. Her mother uploaded the video to YouTube on Friday.
You can see the child is very close to tears and very upset by the idea that her friend, Kitty, isn’t at all what she believed she was. Even at that age, it seems like it’s less about the idea that Hello Kitty is a girl and more about feeling betrayed by a lie.
She’s not alone.
Fans all over Twitter have been posting about the situation. Some jokingly, others with a bit more rage. It’s actually been difficult to find anyone that seems alright with the Hello Kitty situation.
Am I too late with this? Anyway, Schrodinger’s Hello Kitty: Simultaneously a cat and not a cat. You’re welcome. — Mo Ryan (@moryan) August 28, 2014
someone bring me a table set for a feast that i will immediately flip over because hello kitty is not a cat.
— Mark Reek Hoppus (@markhoppus) August 28, 2014
[ Image courtesy of Latin Times ]