I reached my hand out toward the cat but got no response. I opened a can of food and noticed his ears react to the sound, but, when I reached the food out toward him, again, I got no response. I put the food on the end of a pole and was able to place the food much closer to him, and, this time, he began to show some interest in it. He sniffed it and stood for the first time and came forward one step. I let him have a bite or two and then pulled the food a few inches closer to me. As he took two more steps in my direction to reach the food bowl, he uttered his first soft words. I gradually lured him closer to me until he could sniff my outstretched hand, and, eventually, I was able to give him a gentle stroke across his cheek with my finger. I prepared the cat bag on my arm and fed some more to him. He liked the food, and, while he ate, I rubbed his head and back. He did not flinch or react to my first touch. I massaged his scruff and then lifted him off the limb while I pulled the bag around him. He remained quiet and relaxed the entire time. I held him in my lap and petted him some more through the bag to reassure him and then took him down to the ground to put an end to his three-night stay in the tree.
Tico's owner had been searching for him and calling for him while walking by the house where Tico was stuck but got no response. You can't depend on the cat to make it easy for you by responding to your voice and leading you to him. The biggest impediment to finding a lost cat is private property. If Tico's owner could have freely walked into all his neighbor's yards, he may have found him. So to maximize your chances of finding your lost cat, you should hand deliver a flyer to all of your neighbors and ask for permission to search their yard. The flyer should have at least one good picture of your cat, and make sure your picture is properly exposed and shows enough of the cat's body and face so that all distinguishing features and markings are visible. You won't be able to take a good picture of your cat when it's missing, so take it now while you can. This missing-cat case had a happy ending, and I wish all of them could.