Attention Hello Kitty fans, we needn’t worry any longer. It looks like Wednesday’s breaking news about Hello Kitty being, well, not in fact a kitty was all a big misunderstanding, or at least I think so? Here's what went down. On Wednesday the Los Angeles Times ran an interview with Christine R. Yano, the author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific and she told the paper:
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. A lot of people don’t know the story and a lot don’t care.
Yano’s words surprised the nostalgic, ruined many child memories, and practically blew up the Internet as everyone realized that their preteen years were decorated with a white feline lie. Well, the The Huffington Post is giving us more clarification on Cat Gate, reporting that “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.”
Our reality? What reality do they live in? I didn't think I would see a real life cat walking on two legs, drinking coffee with Badtz Maru, but then again, you never know. And of course Sanrio would want to protect their brand and clear up any panic that Yano’s harsh words might’ve created. Sanrio’s Tokyo:
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."
I mean it all makes sense. Hello Kitty isn't a cat-cat, like a cat we would see IRL. She would not appreciate this:
Because she's actually Kitty White, daughter of George and Mary White. She lives near London. She goes to school. She walks on two legs. She has friends. She's like you and me, except she's an anthropomorphic, animated cat, which we pretty much understood all along. It's not like cats do human things, like eat watermelon.
Oh. Okay, well at least cats can't fix the bed.
Okaaay, maybe cats are more like their cartoon counterparts than we realized? Or maybe Hello Kitty is more cat like than Yano thought? Am I opening up a whole can of worms again? I wouldn't want to scare everyone again. That would certainly be a cat-astrophe.
Image: Giphy (3)