Zoey was gone for 23 days. All of my work trying to find him paid off. First, I got a call from a nearby neighbor that I had given a flier to. She said that she saw an orange cat that looked like the picture on my flier sunning himself in her backyard with another cat. Chris and I went over to her house that day. Zoey wasn't there any longer, but we gave the neighbor one of our cat carriers just in case he showed up again and actually came to her. She said that she had left some food out and that the cats did eat it, so we thanked her for feeding him and for contacting us.
Now that we knew Zoey was nearby, it was a matter of getting him home as quickly as possible. I had emailed some local shelters about my situation and one volunteer that lived nearby had offered a trap. We contacted her and said we'd like to give the trap a try, and she let us come by and borrow it. We set it up that night with some food, and miraculously by the morning our Zoey was in the trap. He was scared and had lost 5 lbs, but I was so happy to see him. We never found his cat friend, but I'm happy that he wasn't alone while he was away. I took him to the vet for a checkup and shots, and brought him into the house that night. For a few weeks, Seph did not respond well to him being back. I thought it was strange since he had been watching for him and crying for him to come play all along, but I read that this type of behavior is typical. He likely smelled the other cat on Zoey. He came around soon and thankfully Seph and Zoey are friends again. We were very lucky to have such helpful neighbors, and I feel very lucky that Zoey is safe and healthy.
If you have other tactics that worked in finding your pets that may have ran away, please share! It is good for pet owners to have a plan in case this ever happens to them.