We have a cat that puts her paws in the water bowl.
It started when the water bowl would go empty in the winter (not for long, but with 10+ cats the water drained fast) Prairie would sit in the water bowl, which isn't unusual, its a warmed waterbowl and many of the cats warm their tushes in the bowl. But Prairie went further, we would find her sitting in the bowl with water in it! She still sometimes sits in the bowl when we refresh the water and its nice and cool, but not as much as normal.
What is weird is every time she drinks (and I do mean EVERY time) she puts a paw in the water and swooshes it around, tests how deep it is, where it is, etc, its really weird. Sometimes when she drinks she sticks both paws in and stands in the bowl.
We think she doesn't see as well as she could and the water reflects back at her which makes it hard to judge what depth the water is at and she doesn't want to dunk her face in water because she misjudged the depth.