No, it's not even remotely close to Halloween but as I was feeding the ever-so-feisty, Ms. Claudia, Queen of Kitties, this morning I thought about how healthy she's been over the past few years. (By the way, that is her full name. Just ask her and she'll let you know by an intensely haughty stare.) Three years ago, the aforementioned queen got a severe bladder infection. My vet gave me a rundown of the usual things: make sure she is drinking enough water, give her wet food, clean the litter box daily, etc. Then she mentioned that Claudia was also constipated. She said this can contribute to bladder infections because the intestines press on the bladder and as cats age their systems start to slow down. She told me to buy some canned pumpkin and add a teaspoon to her wet food every morning for the next month or so. Well, it became kind of a habit and Claudia, who is very finicky, liked it so much that I just kept giving it to her. I've seen lots of cats get repeated bladder infections as they get older but I'm happy to report that she hasn't had one since. When I took her in three years ago, my vet gave me the speech that starts with "This is not surprising for a cat of her age...". When I took her back for her yearly check-up last fall, the vet said "She may be 14 but she looks and acts like a 9 year old. " Needless to say, I was ecstatic. Of course, I won't tell The Queen that. Her head is big enough as it is.