I was there the next day to see if I could bring Smoke down, and it turned out to be a very easy rescue. Smoke is a friendly boy, and he was barely twenty feet high in a large tree that was easy to climb. He showed routine, mild caution with me at first, but he soon learned to trust me. He seemed willing to step on my lap, so I prepared the cat bag on my lap and tried to lure him there. He would place his front legs on my lap but not his back legs. After a few more attempts to get him fully on my lap, I gave up and held a carrier in front of him instead. He readily walked inside the carrier with no problem, and I closed the door and brought him down.
I think it is worthwhile to point out a lesson to be learned here for those who are searching for their missing cat. This family found Smoke because they were having a relaxed conversation in their backyard in the middle of the night, and Smoke heard them and responded. He would not likely have responded if there were other activities happening all around or if the family sounded tense or energized. It is at quiet and calm times when a cat feels safe to reveal his location.