I woke up a little before 5am and went out calling for him up and down my street only this time, taking New Kid, ADM, and PhilosopherP's advice that perhaps he needed a little targeted echolocation to help guide him home. Then I got online and started posting and emailing everywhere I could think of.
Mom called around 8:30 to check in while I was making some more flyers, crying some more, and telling Boy Roomie that I'd pretty well decided to hire a woman who finds lost pets with a trained bloodhound. While I was on the phone, another woman called to tell us she'd seen a cat matching my description, so Boy Roomie and I dashed over in his car, but it was only one of the cats we'd already encountered as a false positive.
Just after I'd come back and gotten hold of Mom again, I saw a bit of orange under the porch fence. Sure enough, it was Mouse, standing right in front of the pile of smelly clothes and smelly tuna (for the record, that definitely works). I called for him, but he couldn't get under the fence, so I went around front and called until he came to me. Other than a particularly plaintive note in his meow as he came over to me, he has seemed remarkably composed. And he's unhurt, though he's managed to rough up his collar and is a bit dirty.
Very nearly one of Mouse's first acts was to eat too much too quickly and puke all over the living room carpet.
It's good to have him back.
Many thanks to all of you who left comments and good wishes, to Boy Roomie for walking around the neighborhood on his already distressed ankles two days before his surgery and being kind to me while I wailed and gnashed my teeth, to Morgan for taking me to get more ink cartridges and to the animal shelter, and to Mom for the moral support.
Thanks also to the guy who hadn't seen any orange tabbies, but called to find out if he could do anything to help anyway, because he and his girlfriend had just moved to the area and promptly lost both their cats to our neighborhood's crazy traffic. And to the older lady with a one-eyed cat in her driveway, who looked at me suspiciously when I came to her screen door, but ran toward me as soon as I said I'd lost my cat, exclaiming "Oh, honey!" Her eyes welled up like mine when she looked at Mouse's picture. I'll be going back to visit her later today.
Who says Big City is unfriendly? Just lose your cat, and you'll make plenty of friends.