Non-cat owners don't seem to realize that the "finicky cat" thing actually exists. I've been a cat owner all my life and I've yet to run into one that eats like a dog. My cats are picky, finicky eaters and this increases as they move into their geriatric years.
You might find a portion of the cat chow your old kitty loves so much remains in the bowl when you come home. Maybe your cat doesn't come running when he hears the chow pellets hitting his metal bowl. Whether it's canned food or dry food, your cat's food needs have changed as he's moved into the senior years of his life.