I DID hear back from the corporate office of the retailer/manufacturer. They sent me a $10 gift card to their store. I felt that was a bit of a slap in the face - it is not like I wrote in saying that I didn't like the smell, or that my clothes weren't as fluffy as when I use the national brand. I emailed them to let them know as much.
I quickly received a phone call from Lisa, the lovely agent I had spoken with previously. She apologized for the gift card refund of $10. She had seen the photos of THING and was pretty grossed out herself. She went on to explain that they have had other issues with the fabric softener (no more THINGs, though). The product had issues with thickening and consistency. Evidently the actual manufacturer had changed the formula to include a higher concentration of guar gum which has been messing with the product. They had done this without the authorization of the product owner/distributor. Still no idea on how THING got in there, or what THING is, as there is no human contact in the production line, I am told.
The head office called for a pull of the product from store shelves until the formula is reworked.
Lisa and I chatted a bit about other products in the store brand family. She was a very friendly and honest person. She offered to send me an additional $75 in store gift cards for my inconvenience. I accepted this offer as I found it to be fair compensation for the work it took to clean up after THING.
I will post another THING update if/when Health Canada makes up its mind.