This evening I received a message with a photo of a recently found cat, and it looks very much like Jarhead. It's the closest match to any of my cats I've seen yet, and this one is at least in the county, if not really nearby. I'll call the shelter she's being kept at and see if I can arrange to go look at her. Jarhead was one of my outdoor ferals, and had access to my garage where she liked to sleep on a storage platform in the raters. She was obese at the time of the fire since my nephew who had his stiff stored on my garage was forever feeding her special treats when he was around, which was often.
She was the cat I'd expected was most likely to survive, since she is tough, wary, and hates other animals and would avoid them. If it's her I don't know if it would be a good idea to bring her to this small apartment. I can easily imagine her making a mad dash out at the first opportunity and vanishing into Chico, where she would be unlikely to fare well. She is not used to heavy traffic. She might be best off in a barn cat program. I only wish one of my house cats would turn up, as most of them would be quite content to live in a cozy space, but it seems very unlikely any of them will at this late date. It's been more than six months.