Surprise! 'Hello Kitty' is not a cat

(CNN) -- Globally-popular children's character "Hello Kitty" turns 40 this year and with that birthday comes a surprise revelation. Her creators say Hello Kitty is not a cat!

That's according to Sanrio, the Japanese company that owns and manages the "Hello Kitty" brand.

The Los Angeles Times reports Sanrio now officially describes Hello Kitty as a little girl from London. Sanrio forbids any depiction of the character walking on all fours, or in other distinctly cat-like activities.

In fact, Hello Kitty has her own "real" cat as a pet, named "Charmy Kitty".

All this comes as Hello Kitty and friends prepare for a 40th anniversary party in LA, at the Japanese American National Museum, starting in October.

Later that month, the first-ever Hello Kitty Convention will draw fans from around the world to Los Angeles.


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