On Friday, September 27, Alfred Jack DeStafney-Beaman of Hampton, VA peacefully left this world at his home, surrounded in love by his human, Molly DeStafney, and his brother, Orsen DeStafney-Beaman. Alfred, formerly Gibbon, and was adopted in February 2015 from Heritage Humane Society in Williamsburg, as a companion to Orsen. Alfred, it was discovered some time later, suffered from megacolon, and a congenital heart defect, pulmonary stenosis, which later progressed to congestive heart failure, which ultimately cut short his life with his beloved family, humans Molly and Josh Beaman, and brothers Orsen and Kylo Beaman (all of Hampton, VA).
Alfred was a feline who surpassed odds. Pulmonary stenosis often kills before the age of 6. Alfred was adopted past the age of 6 and his heart condition was not detected until October 2017. But despite his condition, Alfred was the most energetic and fun-loving member of the DeStafney-Beaman clan. Alfred loved his brothers and made a point to be the peacekeeper between the two – it wasn’t unusual for him to go after the bullying family member to get him to behave. He was especially bonded with Orsen, who was his companion in almost everything. Alfred also loved to play with just about any toy brought into the house, which after he was done exploring, would sit on it and claim it as “his.” He enjoyed the occasional catnip, and play fighting with Orsen. Alfred was a very politically inclined Democat, who could occasionally be heard debating with his Republicat brother, when the “play” fighting would end.
Alfred loved company. So much so, that if he couldn’t find anyone around, he’d grab his favorite toy, “Mousey”, and call out to the house in long plaintive meows, until contact with someone could be made, and Mousey would quickly be discarded in exchange for pets, or even better, treats. Alfred was the first to welcome you home at the end of the day, showing you to his bowl, which was always empty and in need of refilling. Alfred also was the first to join you at the end of the feeding time, ready to cuddle up and just enjoy “family time” together. He enjoyed meeting new people, and would often run to answer the door and visit with guests to his home, and was eager for them to see how soft he was to stroke.
Despite all of these loves, however, if Alfred had one true love, it would be food. His food, his brothers’ food, his humans’ food, and all manner of treats. Alfred’s love of food meant his humans had to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that his other brothers, Orsen and Kylo received food that wasn’t gobbled up by the Kitty Gobbler. It also meant his humans often had to protect their own plates when needing to leave a plate unattended. Alfred often could not wait for the first morsel, and would wake Molly prior to her alarm, through an escalating series of sitting on her, headbutts to any exposed areas, paws on the face, and occasionally nibbling her ears. If those tactics failed (as they tended to on weekends) he would resort to loudly clawing at something, or repeatedly hitting the bedroom door against the wall. He was creative and intelligent in getting his way, but was relatively good natured about it, albeit impatient.
But most of all, Alfred was truly loved. He sparked much joy and is immeasurably missed by his humans, Molly DeStafney and Josh Beaman, and by his brothers, Orsen DeStafney-Beaman and Kylo Beaman. Donations in his memory have been made to Heritage Humane Society. Gratitude we give to the caring vets and staff at Todd’s Lane VCA in Hampton; those at the Cove in Suffolk, who did so much to support our baby boy; and the loving hands at Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice & Integrative Medicine, Virginia Beach who helped see him (and Molly) through his final moments. Alfred Jack, we will remember you always and you will live on with us always in our hearts.