A black cat sitting on top of a small dog house
Tank, eating his breakfast on the balcony of the New Tiniest House

Although Suzanne’s stepson, J, moved out of the Tiniest House months ago, it was not entirely uninhabited when I decided to move in. It had a resident cat, Tank. As I understand it, some years previously, the then-feral Tank started showing up for dinner and decided to stay. As far as the inside cats were concerned, he was very much Not Welcome, but eventually he became J’s cat. Not though — never! — the kind of cat that you can easily stick into a cat carrier and bring cross-country with you. So when J left, Tank stayed, and continued living in the Tiniest House. During the cold of winter, Suzanne set up a heating pad for him and the door was permanently ajar, so he could come and go as he pleased.

Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats. Enter the New Tiniest House. I ordered it on Amazon, it came last week, and we promptly put it together for him. I’m not sure Tank likes it much so far, but eventually, we’re hoping to make an awning for it that will keep off/out the rain (that blue tarp was an attempt that didn’t work — the tarp is not waterproof) and when it gets cold, we’ll put the heating pad inside. On the one night of serious rain since I moved into the former Tiniest House, I wound up with a wet cat snoring on my bed, but that’s not a great long-term solution. Neither is me moving out for the winter so Tank can move back in, mostly because my house is much too nice now to be left entirely open to the elements.

Speaking of which, my countertop solution was to cover the counter with contact paper. It’s not a long term solution, because the contact paper’s not going to last, but it was a way to make it bearable for a few months until I feel like I can afford some nice tile. My cabinet door solution was to take one of J’s old curtains and tack it up across the open space. I still haven’t painted the cabinets, and I need to touch up some paint on the shelves, including one bracket that had to be replaced, but my tiny kitchen is looking quite kitchen-like.

The Tiniest House kitchen
A fridge, a sink, an electric kettle, an induction cooktop, and some dishes. All the comforts of home.

I cooked my first meal in said kitchen this morning. After I walked the dogs, I was making myself a cup of coffee and decided it was time to dump my compost (mostly old coffee grounds & some dog food) into the chicken coop. The chickens were happy to see me for the sake of the dog food, but while I was there, I found an egg in one of the nests. Freshly-laid, still warm from the chicken.

One part of me thought, “Wow, the whole concept of eggs is really gross when you think about it.” The other part of me thought, “Okay, that’s really cool, I could eat the freshest egg ever.” And so I did. Totally simple egg scramble – just egg, butter, salt and pepper — and it was, in fact, delicious. Not so head-and-shoulders above any other eggs that it would have been notable, but as I sat in my camp chair, sun shining, breeze blowing through my open window, I very much appreciated my breakfast and my life.

That side of the house is also looking nice, IMO, although it’s all about the outside. I found a $10 shoe rack at Target that seemed perfect for my needs, and a wooden coat rack at the hardware store. I borrowed a drill and a level to put the coat rack up and am quite pleased with my endeavors. And with my coats!

a door with a shoe rack on one side and a coat rack on the other
Coats, scarves, shoes. Yep, I’m prepared for Arcata now!

Funny story with the coats: J left behind a large screen television which didn’t fit in the Tiniest House at all — there was just no room for it. I kept putting it outside and then moving it back in when rain threatened, but it was very much in the way, so Suzanne posted on Facebook offering it in trade. The very first person to respond offered raincoats and home-brew. We never investigated the Why of the raincoats — I just said, “Yes, raincoats!” because my notorious eggplant coat, while quite nice, is not actually waterproof and Arcata is a place where a waterproof coat comes in handy. I didn’t worry about whether the raincoats would fit or whether I would like them, because anything other than a bright yellow plastic poncho would have been fine with me. As it happened, though, the raincoats were basically what I would have picked if someone invited me to walk into a store and take what I wanted: three of them, one lightweight, one medium, one heavy, all in shades of purple/blue, all that fit perfectly. How nice is that?

I posted the above picture, though, mostly to show off my door. I painted the design in the sky blue of the ceiling (Harbor Fog), because I thought it would look nice and it does. I wish I’d painted in the sand color instead, because I think it would look even better if I had, but I might do that when I paint the cabinets. Which is still going to happen someday, although I’m enjoying not being covered in paint. (I’m an appallingly messy painter — I was wearing as much paint as the walls last week.)

One last house picture: My “nightstand”. Not really a nightstand, but the combination of place-to-put-a-cup-of-tea, plus storage and price (cheap!) was irresistible. I should probably shorten the curtain but I can’t cut a straight line and the thought of hemming by hand… well, it’s on my list of things to do someday.

Circling all the way back to the point of this post, Suzanne and I were talking about the house no longer being the Tiniest House, since Tank now has the True Tiniest House. Almost-Tiniest House just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Former-Tiniest House? Once-Tiniest House? She was suggesting alternate names — the beach house? the Wendy House? (<–a joke that means less if you don’t know that my real name is Wendy, I suppose). I think, though, that my house ought to be named Serendipity. In fact, as I look at my new raincoats hanging on the wall, I’m very, very sure of it.