The world’s most favorite mouthless cat recently turned 40 last year, but despite being around for four decades and having her likeness reproduced on nearly every item of clothing, stationary, and household good imaginable, there is a lot more to know about Hello Kitty than you probably realized, like her real name, her family members, and the fact that… she’s not exactly a cat after all?

Known to the English-speaking world as Hello Kitty, and referred to in her country of origin (which is Japan, of course) as Kitty-chan, according to her profile, her full name is Kitty White.

▼No word yet if there’s any relation to actress Betty White, but one could only dream of having such an awesome relative.

BettyWhiteJune09Image: Wikipedia (Angela George)

Her birthday is November 1, 1974, and while she was created by Japanese company Sanrio, her back story states she was born in the outskirts of London. Her height is “five apples”, her weight is “three apples”, and her favorite food? We’ll give you a hint: it includes apples again… Give up? The answer is: her mother’s apple pie.

▼Who wouldn’t love a slice of some freshly baked apple pie?

Apple_pieImage: Wikipedia (Dan Parsons)

Did you know Hello Kitty’s blood type is A? While blood type might not mean much to you unless you’ve had a blood transfusion (I personally didn’t even know my blood type for almost two decades of my life), the Japanese believe that your blood type has ties to your personality traits. So, for example, a person with type-A blood would be earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, and responsible. A fitting blood type for our sweet little Kitty!

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.

In addition to her sister, 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!

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.

▼That is, until you watch the cartoon… Then you have NO CHOICE!

kitty-3Image: Hello Kitty gif tumblr

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 shes 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.

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.

This speculation is still unfounded, but with that bright red bow it’s difficult for us to see her as a boy! Without a doubt, this cat – er, cat personification – is full of surprises. What will we find out next?

References: NAVER Matome, Mother Nature Network, Wikipedia
Featured image: Hello Kitty gif tumblr