} A very good -- and timely -- question!
} You see, a sudden viral plague will wipe out the world's population
} of cats and dogs in just a few months (about two months shy of the
} start of the Third Millennium [where applicable; void where
} prohibited by Judaic, Islamic or Chinese calendars]).
} Realizing that cows' docile nature would qualify them as excellent
} replacements for the vanished pets, scientists genetically engineer
} them to be smaller (about the size of a large greyhound), give them
} actual hands with opposable thumbs, increase their intelligence,
} and market them as the ideal pets (and domestic laborers).
} Several years later, a circus owner, having hidden away and raised
} a calf born of two bovines from the future who traveled back to the
} year 2000 (accidentally bringing with them a viral plague which
} wipes out all cats and dogs), will bring his ward into a major
} city, where the two will be separated by the apprehension of the
} circus owner by fascist cops.
} Mistaken for a common pet, the calf will be captured and herded
} into a training center where he will be taught to do the menial
} tasks assigned to young bulls -- but he will organize a revolt
} which will turn society upside down, with bovines the dominant
} species, keeping humans as pets and laborers (except for Gary
} Larson, whom they will consider the only intelligent human).
} And then the apes, still chafing from the *last* time their noble
} history was so savagely parodied and perverted, will kill everyone,
} cow and human alike, and in the interest of safety, resurrect the
} "Pet Rock" fad, forbidding all other pets. And if they ever catch
} a rock speaking, then it will quickly meet with the business end
} of a pickaxe. Ook.
} You owe the Oracle a banana.