I was speaking to a woman who was very upset as she has lost a cat going to the vet. She has been up and down the street trying to talk to everyone, and in fact did spot her cat quite early on but the cat had run into a drain. Various people came with ladders from a government authority to help her get the cat out and they were speaking loudly.
She was very upset as well because she said the cat didn't seem to recognise her. She wondered if the cat was somehow mad at her and she felt very guilty.
I spoke with her at some length. Basically, a cat is frightened when it is in an unfamiliar area. In addition, there were a lot of people down there attempting to help in the rescue - as a result the cat is frightened, stressed and the main thing the cat wants to do is run away, especially if the cat is a timid cat (as this one was). It does not reflect on the affection the cat has for you usually or is any sort of indicator that the cat is angry. In addition, the cat can probably pick out from your tone of voice that you are stressed and there are lots of unfamiliar people around.
The best thing to do is to try and put a trap out if you can (in this area she couldn't). The cat may be so terrified that it may not want to run out to you - and again this has nothing to do with the fact that the cat loves you. It just wants to stay quiet and remain somewhere where it will not be harmed.
It is best to attempt any sort of rescue as well when it is not so noisy. A trap is usually good because if it's covered, it's dark and cozy and the cat may well feel it is the safest place to go into.