I had doubts that I would be able to help this cat, because the tree was pretty small and skinny, and it was clear that I could not go all the way to the top of the tree within arm's reach of the cat. Using the rescue pole was the only option here, but I wasn't sure if I could safely get close enough to reach the cat even with that pole. After I installed my rope as high as I dared, I tested it to see how the tree reacted to my weight, and, while it swayed a bit, the movement was not excessive. I climbed up to the end of my rope and began testing the tree to see if I could climb any higher. I attached another rope to the other stem of the tree for additional support and climbed a little higher to a point where I was within reach of the cat with the rescue pole.
Once on the ground, I slipped the noose off of him and handed him to Jill. Jill held him and comforted him inside the net while I retrieved my microchip scanner. I scanned him for a chip and found one. Unfortunately, the microchip company for this chip was one that I knew from past experience would not connect me to the owner quickly. Because I am not a veterinarian, shelter or charitable organization, they will not give me the contact information for the owner, which, by itself, is understandable. What I find unacceptable, however, is that they will not then put me on hold while they call the owner and either connect the owner to me or give them my contact information as other microchip companies do. Instead, they initiate a passive process of contacting the owner which they say may take two hours to complete. Why they choose to keep the owner, cat and me waiting that long, I don't know.
I want to thank Jill, not only for her concern for the cat, but also for providing the only pictures I have of the rescue and the cat. I am also grateful to Rachel for her concern and the property owner for graciously allowing me in his back yard to rescue the cat while other neighbors also gathered to watch.