Hello Kitty has whiskers. She has pointy, feline ears. She has "Kitty" in her name." Despite all that, she is not a cat, according to Sanrio, the Japanese company that produced her.
Rather, Hello Kitty is a third-grade British girl who lives outside London.
Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist at the University of Hawaii who has extensively studied the cartoon character, is curating a Hello Kitty retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum. But in putting together the exhibit, she stumbled across this shocking truth:
When Yano was preparing her written texts for the exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, she says she described Hello Kitty as a cat. "I was corrected — very firmly," she says. "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." [Los Angeles Times]
Wikipedia still claims Hello Kitty is a Japanese Bobtail cat. Wikipedia is wrong, if Yano is to be believed.
Which makes you wonder: Is Mickey not a mouse?