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 Los Angeles, 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.