Therapy Cats
Hello Kitty!

July 30, 1972
Some teachers complain

Los Angeles Times
Saticoy Elementary School has a mother cat and five kittens that help break through learning barriers of emotionally disturbed children. Teacher Mrs. Gloria Pena uses the cat family to teach classroom lessons. According to journalist Nancy Baltad: "The antics of the kittens have provided opportunities for observation of behavior and how it is affected by sound and activity." Pena uses the four kittens for mathematical lessons, and the cats inspire artwork, poetry, and compositions, like Room Eight. The kittens help disruptive children engage in quieting activities. With school council approval, Pena feeds and cares for the kittens with her own money. However, complaints from other teachers make principal Paul Sonkson order the cat family be removed.

Hello Hello Kitty!

Yuko Yamaguchi designs Hello Kitty for the Japanese company Sanrio. She is first featured on a plastic coin purse. Hello Kitty comes to the United States in 1976. Initially, Hello Kitty is a bobtailed white cat living in England, building on then-popular Japanese interest in Britain. Now, she can be find in different hues, including a beautiful brown Hello Kitty in Hawaii. Some argue that Hello Kitty's popularity is connected to her lack of mouth and expression, an empty pallet for one to project one's feelings onto. Others see her lack of expression as showing a submissive emptiness. Everyone agrees she is very cute.

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