Alert and fabulous friend of the Museum Monica C. sent me a link to a New York Times article, published yesterday, in which it is explained "Cats Lap With Just Tip of the Tongue."
You see, unlike dogs - "The dog is thrusting its tongue into the water, forming a crude cup with it and hauling the liquid back into the muzzle," the article points out with some nicely loaded wording - cats do this supernifty trick in which they just touch the surface with the tip of their tongues and then whip that tongue right back up, bringing a column of drink back up with it, and then snapping their jaws shut just before the liquid falls back. The researchers borrowed a robot to test this, but it all started with a kitty called Cutta Cutta, whose photo is part of the story. There's a video too.
Go check it out and I dare you to try it with YOUR tongue (tip: you will fail).