Hello Kitty is not a kitty after all, the Los Angeles Times revealed Wednesday. Apparently she’s a girl, and she’s British. Twitter users flocked to the ubiquitous 140-character social media platform after the shocking news broke. 

Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, made the disturbing discovery when she referred to Hello Kitty as a cat at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. "I was corrected — very firmly," she told the LA Times. "That's one correction Sanrio [creator of the character] made for my script for the show [at the museum]. 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."

Hello Kitty is a mainstay in Japan's “culture of cute,” which is known as kawaii. She is the inspiration for a controversial Avril Lavigne song, and her expressionless mug has adorned countless types of merchandise.  

Hello Kitty’s real name is Kitty White, and she apparently has a twin sister. In fact, there is a full back story to the iconic character. "She's a perpetual third-grader. She lives outside of London. I could go on,” Yano told the paper.

This blew minds for social media users who ignited the mini-blog Wednesday afternoon. Some of the comments were simple: “If Hello Kitty isn’t a cat, than everything I’ve ever known in a lie,” some people wrote.

Singer Josh Groban was in a state of denial after he heard the news.

But the (seemingly) new finding inspired deeper questions. Like, why does Hello Kitty need to define herself?

A few more Twitter responses have been posted below:

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