I've already tried the scent and food things. I've pulled out my clothing from my hamper and scattered them around the backyard (neighbours must think I was nuts). We also have a dog and she is outside on leash quite a bit, so the cat should recognize the dog's stronger scent quite easily if the cat were still in the area. The dog has even been left out all night in hopes of luring the cat back when it's quiet and less scary for her. (Don't worry - the dogs loves being outside all night.) I've even tried taking the dog with me on my searches, hoping the dog would be able to find the cat, but my dog is no "Lassie" and the cat is still missing. As for the food - squirrels really like kibble!
Freak managed to get outside once before and was out all night. When I let the dog outside into the backyard the next morning, Freak came running to the door from under the BBQ cover where she had been hiding, so I really think that if she were in the area, she would be brave enough to come out if she heard me or the dog. I really think that either she got so spooked, that she ran out of the yard, got disoriented, and got herself further lost and is wandering far from her home area, or has been kept by some family, or has met an early end to her life, though Animal Control had not picked up any dead cats matching her description.
Years ago I took in a lost cat and fostered it for over a month before I could locate the owner. It turned out that this cat had been missing for over 3 months (indoor cat that got out during the craziness of a family funeral and wasn't missed for a while). This cat was really outside it's home area, so the SPCA at the time wouldn't connect me with the owner as they deemed the areas too far apart. The owner finally saw and responded to one of my newspaper ads on the "off chance". So the point of my story is that I'm hoping that someone has my Freak, but doesn't realize that it's my cat because they are out of the Hamilton Central Mountain area.