The smallrus is tiniest of the seal family, not much larger (and rather similiar in shape) to the garden slug. They prefer damp areas with large amounts of water, like well-watered gardens with fish ponds, and can often be seen sporting in puddles and bird baths, making their typical call (a sort of squeaky bellow.*) Any gardener is generally delighted to see the smallrus appear, as the occasional nibble of a leaf is more than made up for by their ability to keep down the number of mosquito larvae and other small aquatic nuisances.
Okay, this one is my husband's fault. He was wandering around singing "I am the smallrus!" I stared at him, struck by the wretchedly adorable image this presented, and said "How big is a smallrus?" "Very, very tiny," he said. "AWW!" I said. "You can keep them around by the house as sock warmers," he said. "AWWWW!" I said. "They purr," he said. "AAAAWWWWWW!" I said, dumbfounded. Ten years, and I had misjudged the man utterly. Did I think he had no soul for cute? Had this master of the darling been living with me all this time, and hiding behind a facade of general perversion? How could I be so wrong?
"They're great with honey mustard sauce," he said.
Sigh. Guess not.
However, I was so struck by the cuteness of the image before he ruined it, that I had to paint the smallrus anyway. Mixed media, 4 x 10--the marbled effect in the background came from washing white acrylic ink over the top of watercolor, and dripping the white ink to make spotty bits, an effect I hadn't planned for, but which was a happy accident when I made the background way too dark and decided to lighten it with a white wash instead of trying to scrub it off the page. Original is for sale, prints available, visit [link]
or send a note (since the small ones often sell before I get 'em on the page.)
*Inhale a good lungful of helium and yell "GRONK!" and you've about got it.