It may be comforting to realize that according to Star Trek, pets will constantly be very much a part of the lives of humans (or whoever) even in the future.
Pets offer emotional support to a loyal Vulcan. They can warm the heart of the strictest captain. They can give serenity, beauty, cuddles, companionship, or in the case of the villain, they can help with whatever evil needs doing.
Reginald Barclay’s cat Neelix
After Barclay goes to the Pathfinder Project back on Earth, he gets a cat and names it Neelix after the Talaxian crew member on the Voyager. Neelix the cat loves it when Deanna Troi comes to see Barclay, mostly because he gets to eat some of her chocolate ice cream. Even future cats are complete opportunists!
Dr. Phlox’s Pyrithian bat
Dr. Phlox has a Pyrithian bat, and while thinking about the human affinity for pets, he realizes that he himself, a Denobulan, has acquired some affection for his bat. He also talks to it.
Miles O’Brien’s Lycosian tarantula Christina
Chief O’Brien speaks with Lt. Barclay about his fear of spiders in an effort to sympathize with Barclay about his dread of transporters. He later presents his pet Christina the Lycosian tarantula to Barclay. Christina gets onto Barclay’s arm while Miles is getting a drink. Though Barclay has no phobia of spiders, he sort of wants her to get off his arm.
Mr. Scott’s tribble
Mr. Scott has a tribble in a cage at the Starfleet outpost at Delta Vega. The little one is no bigger than an Easter egg for fans of the original Star Trek series, but it’s really adorable. And, of course, we will see even more tribbles in Star Trek Into Darkness when the furballs are a much-needed inspiration for McCoy to save the day in the end.