The news of the latest Pain Event arrived via Carrier Pigeon, Komfort Kats’ sophisticated electronic messaging system. Carrier Pigeon could also be used to place delivery orders but doing so during Business Hours was frowned upon. Komfort Kats had Strict Policies that governed these practices.

The Pain Event was in New Jersey. Something about the loss of several houseboats to Raging Blazers, the absolute worst phylum of fire. Grease-related, no doubt. People were always leaving lard in pans, Komfort Kats learned over time.

Taxpayers were displaced, forced to live with Close Friends or Formerly-Estranged Loved Ones. Their spirits were heavy, tethered to sorrow by circumstance. Traditional remedies like Legal Tender Infusions or Playful Clowning cut neither the mustard nor the horseradish.

Only the services of Komfort Kats would do.

***

Komfort Kats’ preferred method of travel was helicopter. Man, did they love the all the Blade Whirring! They listened to it on Noise-Cancelling Headphones, tiny ones, during their flights. White Noise helped them focus, but not while they read White Noise. Komfort Kats started a Book Club and a Team Member picked DeLillo. All that racket piped through their pointy ears and into their peabrains via their PortaJukes™ did not increase concentration, not one bit. Management was notified accordingly.

Senior Komfort Kats got window seats. Sometimes they mewed when they could see the Natural Disasters or Rampage Zones to which they were being dispatched. With oval eyes they saw The Depths of Despair, felt The Hurt cut through their silky coats like a Stiff Breeze. They often held paws to get through it all because they did not have hang-ups about Same-Sex Affection. Komfort Kats always found that particular issue among humans obnoxious.

Entry-Level Komfort Kats were crated. There were plenty of holes in the wood to allow for Adequate Breathing. The recent passing of Prop 483 made sure of that.

***

New Jersey was flatter than they expected. There were more Abandoned Strip Malls, too. Komfort Kats loved exotic locales as much as The Next Guy, star of TLC’s The Next Guy, their favorite Extreme Travel Show. They were professionals, though, and they did not complain once about being sent to a Total Dump.

They were given Heroes’ Welcomes by the citizenry when they landed in Teaneck. Hawaiian Women hung leis around their necks, and over their collars. Komfort Kats never felt so good as in that moment. In some ways, they had already won The Battle.

Before their Local Handlers picked them up and placed them in the back of Lincoln Town Cars, Komfort Kats paused for a Moment of Quietude for Stacy, a Komfort Kats intern. Stacy fell out of the Cargo Bay on the flight over. A Safety Tech had not secured The Latch prior to take-off. He was already the focus of Intense Litigation.

***

Ground Zero was chaotic. Komfort Kats liked to investigate Pain Events on full tummies, and they had read Good Things about Ground Zero’s Pre-Game Zany Buckets™ on Yelp. They wondered if the pub would not be Crazy Busy during The Noon Lunch Rush, but their appointment was at two p.m. Eastern. They wanted a cushion, on the off chance they got lost and could not find The Lake.

They licked Super-Tangy Mayo off their paws while they waited for the check. When the bill arrived they all reached into the little black book at the same time with their Komfort Kats Premium Select American Express Platinum-Level Club Cards™. Komfort Kats loved when that happened.

***

Komfort Kats prepared for The Worst. They were ill-equipped for what they discovered at The Jobsite, however. Dishes everywhere, sweatpants. A Pain Event approaching Chernobyl, the Cher concert stampede they mitigated in Tempe last February that almost got them subpoenaed, in magnitude.

The Victims were in tents, properly Slanketed but huddled around George Foreman Grills for warmth. Komfort Kats could not help but think the apparati would be better utilized in the Makeshift Party Village, graciously donated and operated by Wendy’s of North America, LLC. More Sons of Baconator could end up in The Victims’ mouths that way. That was just Komfort Kats’ take on The Whole Thing.

The air off the lake was frigid. Roger, an Up-and-Coming Komfort Kat known for his Sharp Wit and halitosis, quipped to Stevenson, a Komfort Kat With One Foot Out the Door, that it was colder than Stevenson’s Ex-‘s left titty out. A great cheer went up among The Ranks and it was decided then and there that laughter was Decent Medicine.

It came time to get down to Serious Business, which meant Snuggle Time™. (Komfort Kats insisted they were not in the business of Commodifying Relief but Legal demanded they protect their Proprietary Interests.) The Gang removed their polar fleece vests and ran Lint Rollers over them to catch all the errant fur. They knew they had Strong Anti-Feline Sentiment to combat when confronting a Pain Event and did not want to contribute to Ugly Stereotypes regarding shedding.

Komfort Kats always announced their intent to enter Personal Spaces, so as not to alarm The Victims or interrupt Masturbating Teens. Ready to roll up their Forearm Hair and Make Differences, they meowed into Miniscule Megaphones™ donated by The American Red Cross before slinking into The Victim’s tents. They stuck to The Script, Komfort Kats’ Employee Handbook, and Laid It On Nice and Thick. They rubbed the sides of their heads against The Victims’ thighs and encouraged Gentle Stroking. They purred as The Victims wept, grateful for Something Soft and Non-Judgmental.

When The Victims entered REM-Stage Sleep, all cried out or whatever, that was The Kats’ cue to bow out gracefully. The Town Cars were always already running, eager to Get the Hell Out. Part of what made Komfort Kats so successful as an organization is that they never wore out their welcome.

***

Back at Base Camp, hearts were heavy. Komfort Kats could not take their medication with alcohol and, with Base Camp’s Twelve-for-One bottle service promo, their paws were tied. They just hoped their arrhythmias did not act up at Inopportune Times.

They tried their best to not discuss The Jobsite during Social Calls, Komfort Kats’ designated Post-Pain Event Chill Out Maximization Period, but inevitably it came up. Which Spooning Technique yielded Best Results, whether or not to get declawed before the next Assignment. And so forth.

Every now and again, a Team Member questioned The Point of It All. Typically, while Three Eight-Hundred-Thread-Count-Sheets to the Wind. Pain Events would always exist, would they not? And, if so, were Komfort Kats doomed to Quixotic Meandering? Could they ever truly Get Out In Front of This Thing?

Inevitably, a World Weary-but-Well-Respected Kat would take the Doubting Thomas up to The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Base Camp’s rooftop Oxygen Station and Kale Patch. There, said Kat would allow that Team Member to vent, to remove the Lead Apron of Uncertainty weighing him or her down, inhibiting Personal Growth. The Kat would then grab that Team Member by the Rabies Vaccination Tag and, with the strength of Healthy Oxen, heave his or her Broke Ass over the side of the building and through the skylight of a Opulence Towers Singles Loft below. It would all get written up back at The Office on Monday. The Incident Report would read, in relevant part:

Decedent was never a Komfort Kat.