It has been 1.5 million years since humanity, for some reason, left the planet earth. The domesticated animals they left behind, namely cats and dogs ... maybe various birds too, have evolved into species with intelligence on par with humanity. The specie or species discuss among each their cultural memory of humans, and otherwise try to gain a broader image of what these mythical beings were and what role they played in their evolution. -- Anon Guest
[AN: Life Without People says that most human artefacts on Earth will last a maximum of 100 years, not long enough to have an effect. But I'm going with post-genetic-modification as a thing.]
The humans bent life. Shaped it. Re-ordered it in their image. This, they knew. The dim memories of their ancestry had that as global lore. They made food tastier. They made buildings larger. They made craft that could fly to the stars. They made their pets and loved animals smarter.
And that was why those who came to the fore after the humans left remember them. We were made to help them perform certain tasks. We were able to preserve their buildings. We were able to keep most of their artefacts. We were able to remember... what they gave us.
The more we discovered, the more we learned. The more we learned, the more cause we had for concern. For all the miracles the makers had wrought, they sought the stars without us. We had failed some kind of test. Or they thought they had failed.